07711 306695

Hypnotherapy and Exam Nerves

Can hypnotherapy help with exam nerves?

Most people experience some degree of anxiety about exams, whether it’s an academic or a driving exam. Whilst a certain amount of exam nerves is useful as a motivating force, it is important to keep on top of exam anxiety. I still occasionally wake up in the middle of the night having had a nightmare that in some way involves exams and it has been decades since I last sat an exam of any note. Like any other type of anxiety, exam nerves can be extremely debilitating.

How hypnotherapy can help with academic or exam nerves

This is where hypnotherapy can help. Hypnotherapy can be useful in helping people to locate and then use many of their own inner strengths and resources to combat the problems associated with Exam Nerves.

In this respect, hypnotherapy helps a person to ‘help themselves’ in very much the same way as other therapeutic approaches.

It is that time again, our youth are revising to do their very best on their exams. Be that for GSCE’s A Levels or their degrees we are now at the height of the exam season. This is a very tense time of year for our young, they and we put a tremendous amount of pressure on in order to succeed at their exams. Now, of course, it is important that education is used to its best possible outcome. But, the world is not simply about taking exams. Students are generally conscientiously inclined toward their work. They do their time revising, but often when the big event occurs, they panic and go blank.

I have had many years of experience helping people of all ages prepare for exams. Sometimes a couple of sessions of hypnotherapy is all that you need or it may be that you or your child need 6 sessions. No matter what, the outcome is always positive.

There are a number of ways a hypnotherapist can help someone overcome exam nerves. Firstly, there is something called state-dependent memory which means that we recall information much more easily if we are in the same state as when we put the information in. Therefore, it is important that I assist my client to not only be calm and relaxed when they are learning new information but also they are in a similar relaxed state during the actual exam.

Secondly, there are accelerated learning methods such as colour coding, acronyms and visual methods to make retaining information easier. Teaching time distortion is another method that will expand time and creating anchors will give extra support to maintain focus when it is most needed.

Whilst a certain amount of exam stress is and can be used as a motivating force, it is important to keep on top of exam anxiety. An important way to do this is to be organised.

Some people suffer from exam stress more than others. For those people, it is important to learn some stress reduction techniques as well as use specific study tips for revision.

Useful stress reduction ideas

Don’t drink too much coffee, tea and fizzy drinks; the caffeine will ‘hype’ you and make your thinking less clear.

Eat healthily and regularly; your brain will benefit from the nutrients.

The physical symptoms associated with stress are caused by the hormone adrenaline, which is necessary to prepare the body for the ‘fight or flight’ reaction.

When overproduced by chronic stress, it simply causes unpleasant physical symptoms rather than of being any use to you.

Physical activity will use up the adrenaline, for the purpose it is intended.

This can help to reduce some of the unpleasant physical effects associated with stress, such as racing heart, over-breathing and muscular tension.

Build some regular moderate exercise into your day to boost your energy and clear your mind.

A brisk walk for 30 minutes is as good a form of exercise as any and doesn’t need much planning in advance.

Try out some relaxation techniques.

They will help to keep you feeling calm and balanced, improve your concentration levels and help you to sleep better.

Get into a sensible sleep pattern; make sure that you stop academic work at least an hour before you go to bed and then do something relaxing so that your sleep is refreshing and useful.

Don’t work half the night and then get up late instead.

 A Relaxation technique you can try yourself

Practise tensing and relaxing each of your muscle groups in turn.

Begin with your toes.

Clench them and hold them tight for a few seconds, concentrating fully on the feeling.

Now gradually and slowly relax the muscles, unclenching your toes and letting them go loose.

Progressively move up the body doing the same, until you reach the forehead.

Frown tightly, screw up the facial muscles and then relax them.

Practise breathing deeply, evenly and slowly.

As you develop this slow rhythm, try to imagine that you are lying on a warm beach, watching the waves.

Put the mental picture in tune with your breathing.

As you breathe in, imagine the waves washing in: as you breathe out, the waves wash out.

Hypnosis is well known for helping people to overcome nerves and really helpful to relieve exam stress. I have a lot of experience working with all ages in helping them to overcome this specific anxiety, so please do contact me if you or your child need help.

helen c johnson brighton hypnotherapist


The first step towards changing your life is to contact me.


Feel free to call for an informal and informative chat!

Call Helen now on 07711 306695

hypnotherapy associations member