Sitting Exams with Inflammatory Arthritis: A Guide to Success 

Blog by Aribah Rizvi

Exam periods for those living with Inflammatory Arthritis (IA) can be a daunting experience. However, with the right strategies and support, you cannot only survive but thrive during exams.  

In this blog post, we’ll explore practical tips help you navigate through exam season. 

Exams often come with time constraints, prolonged periods of sitting, and the need for intense focus. For individuals with IA, these factors can trigger symptoms. It’s essential to understand the challenges posed by exam settings to develop effective strategies for overcoming them.  

Tips for Exam Preparation:

  • Start Early: Begin your exam preparation in advance to avoid stress and exhaustion. 
  • Utilise Assistive Technology: Explore tools like speech-to-text software to reduce strain on your hands and wrists. 
  • Break It Down: Divide your study sessions into shorter, focused intervals to prevent physical strain. 
  • Prioritise Tasks: Identify the most critical topics and focus your energy on them first. 

Managing Stress:

  • Practice Stress-Relief Techniques: Incorporate deep breathing, meditation, or yoga into your routine to manage stress. 
  • Plan Breaks: Take regular breaks during study sessions to prevent physical and mental fatigue. 

Creating a Supportive Study Environment:

  • Ergonomics Matters: Invest in an ergonomic chair and desk to minimize discomfort during study sessions. Consider using assistive devices, such as ergonomic keyboards or cushions, to support your posture. 

Communicating with your Tutor/ Examiner:

  • Inform Your Tutor: Communicate openly with your teachers about your condition and discuss potential adjustments to accommodate your IA. 
  • Request Extra Time: If necessary, request additional time for exams or breaks to accommodate your needs. 

Sitting exams with IA requires a proactive and holistic approach. Through recognising the distinctive challenges, using impactful strategies and reaching out for assistance, those living with IA can excel in their exams whilst being mindful of your wellbeing. 

Remember, you’re not alone on this journey, and your resilience in the face of adversity is a testament to your strength. 

We hope these tips help you whilst sitting your exams. If you have any questions or worries, please call our trained helpline team on 0800 298 7650 between 9:30am-4:30pm Monday to Friday, or contact us by email at

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