Young piano student in RIAM

Exam Nerves

Exams days are exciting but can also be a bit nerve-wracking!

We asked some of our exam candidates and teachers for advice on coping with exam stress, and this is what they suggested:

Rest well the night before. I make sure that I am full of energy on the day of the exam. 

Practise your pieces in front of your family of their friends (more than once if you can!). It helps to play for someone else before the exam. 

I make sure my students know where the exam venue is and that they arrive in plenty of time. It is important not to stress yourself by being late. 

Relaxation exercises really help. Try breathing in through your nose, counting to five, then breathing out through your mouth, counting to five. Do that 5 times and I promise you will be more relaxed! 

I think of the piece, and how much I like it, before I play. It is important to me to play the piece the best I can and I don’t worry too much if I have a mistake or two – as long as I try my best. 

I take big steps into the exam room! It keeps me calm! 

I always try to smile at the examiner, so they know that I am here to play pieces that I enjoyed learning.