How to Handle Stress on CFA Exam Day

After months of studying and brainstorming, the last thing you would wish for yourself is to lose steam on exam day because of stress and pressure. In order to avoid this, you would desire to know some vital secrets that would prevent such occurrences on the day of your CFA exams, right?

On this blog, we have described a significant number of study skills one would need to imbibe to be successful in prosecuting the CFA exams. However, one thing we are yet to discuss is on how a student needs to handle stress on exam day.

In reality, CFA exam days are very stressful. Most times, the stress emanates from psychological pressures. Students are pressurized psychologically to attain success at whatever expense because failure to do so may result in devastating effects that may not be writable. The common effect of failures in CFA exams is the need to rewrite the exam the next year. Whenever such stress occurs, hormones are released which affects the memory. Cortisol is the hormone released whenever we experience stress and it significantly affects our ability to recall from our memory.

Despite these challenges, we’ve got good news for you! There are strategies for managing the stress and these strategies are discussed in the succeeding paragraphs of this post.

1. Meditation

Meditation is imperative for relieving stress. To meditate, look for a secluded and quiet area around the exam premises and sit. While seated, close your eyes for 10 minutes and meditate. Believe in yourself and assure yourself that you will make it. Speak to your mind and instruct it to relax. Assure yourself that the exam will be successful because you have done your part and you hope for the best. This trick will relax your mind and keep you in the right frame to attain success in your CFA exam.

2. Be realistic

One of the leading causes of stress on exam days is the pressure to succeed at all costs. Feel free and be ready for the worst. Assure yourself that losing one year of your life will never destroy your life ambition. Get prepared to write freely in the exam and focus more on getting the knowledge other than the grades. It is interesting to know that if you focus more on the knowledge rather than the grades, success will follow naturally.

3. Visualize success

View yourself as already successful. Close your eyes for 5 minutes and picture yourself writing the exam effortlessly. Picture yourself celebrating after the exam and imagine yourself with an excellent grade afterward. Through this way, your mind gets relaxed believing that you are already successful even before writing the exam!

4. Breathe freely

You will need to condition your breath to ease stress. Breathe in and out freely and try to relax your mind each time you exhale. It works as a tonic because your mind quickly gets relaxed and your brain gets conditioned to achieve success no matter how tough the challenges may be.

5. Take a walk

Here is my favorite trick, and I personally use it before every stressful moment. Wake up early and enjoy the morning of your exam by relaxing your nerves. One such way of relaxing the nerves and enjoying the early morning atmosphere is by walking. Therefore, it is imperative for you to walk a few blocks away from your area back and forth.

6. The cold water therapy

The cold water therapy works for a large number of applications. You can keep calm by dripping cold water behind your ears and on your wrists. They relax you by cooling the major arteries lying beneath your skin within these areas.

7. Eat some stress-relieving foods

Some foods and drinks are reputed for relieving stress. One among them is green tea which contains L-Theanine. Researchers have revealed that L-Theanine is a chemical that tends to calm one down by reducing anger. Dark chocolate also works in this scenario by producing ingredients that regulate the stress hormone cortisol.

8. Don’t panic when you don’t know an answer

Don’t let this situation affect your moral. You need all your concentration to overcome the challenge and to think over and over about a specific question can make you lose focus. Only keep in mind that no matter what is happening during the exam, you are doing your best.


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