Published: 13 March 2024

Exercising for exam success

Discover how exercise can help you stay at the top of your game during exam season, with tips and advice from Dr Julie Hunt, Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Sciences, and Dr Ralph Manders, Lecturer in Exercise Physiology.

A healthy body means a healthy mind. Take care of yourself during the exam period by eating well, sleeping well and exercising regularly.

Exercise helps to oxygenate the brain and release tension, helping you to keep calm, mentally relax and study more efficiently.

Read our exercise tips and healthy lifestyle advice to help you beat revision and exam stress.

Top exercise tips

1. Little and often

You spend a great deal of time sitting at the computer or with your head in a book when revising for exams. You can’t revise effectively for excessively long periods, so take regular breaks to stay productive. A simple walk to the shops can be enough to help you clear your head so that you return refreshed to your studies.

2. Develop a routine

A balanced routine of work and play is essential during revision and exam time. It might feel like you’re too busy, but try to maintain a regular exercise schedule - aim to get active at least every other day.

Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good, reducing stress and helping you to get good night’s sleep - but avoid stimulating activity just before bed, to give your brain time to wind down.

Read more tips to help you sleep better during exams.

3. Know what works for you

Plan your exercise during periods when you know you generally won’t study. Some people work better in the morning, some at night – if you plan your exercise around your study schedule then you won’t miss out on valuable revision time.

4. Use your feet

If your exam is close to where you live, why not walk there instead of driving or taking the bus? A short walk before an exam helps you to relax and focus your thoughts.

Discover more revision tips and advice about what to eat during exams.

Sport at Surrey

Sport is a big part of university life for many Surrey students. Surrey Sports Park is home to more than 40 sports teams and offers Surrey students discounted membership to all facilities including the newly refurbished £500,000 gym.

Learn more about sport at Surrey and explore our undergraduate degrees.

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