Managing Stress During an Exam

Cortisol can inhibit memory recall. After a stressful incident cortisol may reach a level that impacts your memory performance after thirty minutes.

Under stress the body releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol can inhibit memory recall. After a stressful incident cortisol may reach a level that impacts your memory performance after thirty minutes. It then takes a few hours for the effect to wear off.

This is why staying relaxed before and during an exam or test is essential, as is how you react to incidents during that time. If you make a mistake at the start of an exam, take a moment to relax and ensure you don’t let your stress response go too far. If you allow that mistake to start to stress you further, your cortisone rises, and thirty minutes later, you will find it harder to remember what you already know.