How to cope with two exams in one day (without going insane)

We can all remember that dreaded moment.

The day you get your exam timetable. And, there, right in the middle of all that stress and strain, you see TWO EXAMS ON ONE DAY! Argggghhhhh!

How on earth are you going to cope with that?

I've had lots and lots of people contact me worrying about this exact problem. It isn't a nice problem to have, but I promise you that you'll get through it. I've been there and done that on several occasions.

Most memorably, I had three exams in two days for my finals at University. That was a grand total of nine hours of exams in three days. There were a total of four exams to examine me on my whole final year.  The results I got from those four exams would be what my entire three years at university would be judged on for the rest of my life. I'm not going to lie to you; those three days were hell. After the last of the three exams my eyes were raw with tiredness, my brain felt like it had been rung out like a sponge and my arm was ready to drop off from all that writing.

But I got through it. And, I've learned a thing or two about how to get through this kind of situation.

Here are my best tips on how to cope with two exams in one day.

How to cope with two exams in one day

  1. Be very well prepared. As soon as you know that you'll be having two exams in one day you need to start planning for it. It's no use thinking that you'll cram on the evening before. It's also no use thinking you'll cram the evening following two exams in one day for an exam you might have the day after. You need to plan to make sure all that knowledge is firmly fixed in your head in advance so there is no last minute work to do.
  2. Be well organised. You should aim to take as much stress and strain out of the day as possible by being organised. Make sure you've got all the kit you need prepared well in advance. Make sure you know where you've got to be and at what time. Make sure you've got a back up plan for how to get to the exam if your transport goes wrong. Make sure you set an alarm and get someone to help you get out of bed in plenty of time so you're not rushing.
  3. Eat heathily and heartily both the night before and at breakfast. And, make sure you can get yourself a filling and healthy lunch in between the exams. You need food that's going to keep your tummy full, and prevent your blood sugar from dipping part way through. It's hard to do your best when your body is struggling physically.
  4. Get a good night's sleep. Make sure you stop revising early enough the night before so that your brain has time to wind down enough for you to get a really good night's sleep. Good quality sleep is really going to help you get through tomorrow and do your best.
  5. Stay calm and relaxed. Do a mini meditation the night before, the morning before or even between the exams. I just discovered this seven minute meditation. It will calm you, relax you and reset your mind away from the anxiety and the stress. You could also search for a downloadable mediation audio file to listen to on your phone. If meditation isn't your thing, do lots of deep breaths and try to keep your mind focused. Don't let people around you stress you out or make you feel inadequate because you've prepared in a different way to them.
  6. Stay focused. Try to keep your mind focused on the task in hand. Don't think about the next exam, or tomorrow, or next week, or results day. Just think about the question you're answering in the here and now. Just be present in the present and do what you have to do.

How do you cope with two exams in one day?

Time to share.

Leave a comment below telling me either a) your own strategies for coping with two exams in one day or b) which of the things I've listed above you're going to try.

Know someone else with two exams in one day? Help them out by sharing this article with them. That's what friends do….

Need more tips for getting through exam season?

I've got you covered. The Ten Step Guide to Acing Every Exam You Ever Take takes you from day one of your course to when you're sitting in the exam hall with the pen in your hand. It's a complete system for doing your very best in any exam you take, for the rest of you life. Check it out today.

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