Do you go blank during exams?

Are you studying? Do you need to sit exams? Do you find you can remember everything outside of the exam room, but once you are in there you can think of nothing?

I have some suggestions for you…

When I was studying, I was a single parent, with two children living with me full time. I was studying 7 (yes, seven!) subjects that semester. I was burning the candle at both ends and in the middle for good measure!

Towards the end of semester, I went to see my doctor for a wellness check up. I am very fortunate – I have a doctor who prescribes holistically. The day I saw him was the day before a HUGE exam. I was in the middle of an assessment period that had included 7 assessment pieces due over the course of 10 days. I was stressed to the point where I no longer realised I was stressed (I think you could say I was in denial). He asked me what I was going to do after I left his office. I said I would continue studying, then pick the kids up from school, take one to tennis, the other to basketball, pick them up, race home, cook dinner, help them with homework, and then after they were asleep I would study for a few hours, then wake at 5am to study for a couple more hours before they woke.

What do you think he said to me?

Here is his advice. I think you’re going to like these!

1. Eat some dark chocolate.
75% cocoa dark chocolate is filled with micronutrients. His prescription for me was 3 pieces a day, every day.

Dark chocolate

2. Meditate.
For half an hour, every day. I was already an experienced meditator. But he taught me a new technique…

He explained to me that when buddhist monks were asked what they saw when they were deep in meditation – they answered that they saw the colour purple. He then took out a fluorescent yellow highlighter pen. He drew a circle with the fluorescent yellow highlighter pen, and coloured it in completely. He asked me to look at it. I looked at it, and he asked me to soften my gaze and continue to look at it. He asked me if I saw it. With surprise I said ‘Yes!’ Around the yellow, a shade of purple has appeared. An optical illusion of sorts. He asked me to close my eyes and to continue to see the purple. I did – it stayed in my awareness for a little time. And when I opened my eyes, I felt so much calmer. He invited me to use this little shortcut to meditation, whenever I needed to find a moment of calm in my day.


3. Get half an hour, every day, of sunshine.
His words to me were – ‘We are not indoor plants. We need to go outside!’ Of course, we still need to be mindful not to get sunburned.


4. Lavender oil.
Burn lavender oil in an essential oil burner. Not too much oil, as that would be overpowering. Just a little – as the aroma will help you relax more deeply.

He explained to me that I had been to all the lectures, I had done all the readings, I had completed all the assignments – all the knowledge was already in my mind. All I needed to do now was to relax, and allow my mind to retrieve this information during the exam. A stressed mind cannot make connections, between right and left hemispheres and between short and long term memory, as well as a relaxed mind.

Lavender oil burner

5. Get some sleep.
Sleep allows your mind to process all that you have learned, and file it away in easily retrievable ways.


All that he had said resonated with me.

So, I went home, and instead of studying, I went for a walk. I walked to the river, and sat on the bench under a weeping willow tree. I watched the water flow, I took long, deep breaths of sweet, fresh air and I allowed myself to enjoy the present moment.

I allowed myself to relax…

The next day I went to the exam feeling at ease. I took with me some Bach Flower Remedies to help and support me during the exam. Would you like to know which flower essences I used?

  • Larch
    is specific for people who go blank in exams. Have you ever had the feeling that you have no idea what a question is asking, only to realise later that you knew the answer all along?
  • Rock Rose
    Rock Rose
    is for the overpowering fear that leaves you feeling frozen in your body and mind. Some exam questions can do that.
  • Gentian
    is for disappointment. With Gentian in the blend, instead of dwelling on questions you don’t know the answer to, you easily move on, and find that you can come back to that question later. Often, after letting the question settle in your mind a while, the answer presents itself effortlessly.
  • Chestnut Bud
    Chestnut Bud
    helps you learn lessons. It helps you absorb and retain all that you learn, so that you don’t have to repeat the lesson over and over.
  • Clematis
    helps you stay on track, present in the moment and focused.
  • Olive
    Olive is for the complete mental and physical exhaustion that comes after working and studying hard for a long, long time. For me, Olive has the effect of a strong cup of coffee, only without the side-effects of caffeine. I feel alert and energised after a dose of Olive.

Depending on what your challenges are when it comes to exams, some or all of these remedies may help you do your best. Talk with your Flower Essence Practitioner about how you feel before and during exams to receive professional advice and a blend of remedies that focus on supporting you.

If you would like more information on flower essences, click here.

If you would like to book a consultation and receive advice and remedies specific for your needs, click here.

Would you like some extra support with your studies? The team at Empire Tutoring are wonderful! You will love their fun approach to learning.

Do you use any other techniques to help you do your best in exams? Please comment below! 

May your mind be ever clear, may your thoughts be always accurate and may your heart be at peace always.


  1. very useful and helpful ! I think all the above advices would spell a good life, even away from exams.
    I wonder if you could perhaps recommend a book on the Australian Bush essences for me ?

    1. Yes, I agree!
      For the Australian Bush Flower Essences, I would recommend reading ‘Australian Bush Flower Essences’ and ‘Bush Flower Healing’- both are written by Ian White. The way he introduces each flower is by telling a story about an aspect of it. The stories are so memorable, they make each flower and its healing properties unforgettable. Enjoy!

      1. Brilliant, I heard about them in Ian Watson’s lectures where he introduces some of them, but I feel I need a good reference book, sounds like those you recommend are exactly what I need. Thank you so much for this !

      2. I hope these books are exactly what you are looking for.
        You are so fortunate to have Ian Watson as a lecturer! I have his books (‘The Homeopathic Miasms’ and ‘A Guide To The Methodologies Of Homeopathy’)! They helped me so much during my studies!

      3. That’s brilliant! Thank you for letting me know about the downloadable mp3s – I’ll definitely have to look in to those! And thank you also for your recommendation- I haven’t read The Tao of Homeopathy… I am so excited! I am in for a homeopathic treat!

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