Exam season can test the nerves of even the coolest, calmest students. Stress levels soar, anxiety is common, and most students feel perpetually exhausted. So how can you handle this emotional time of year? Try these super exam time strategies!
Make a Plan
Getting through exam season with good grades and minimal stress rarely happens by accident. Creating a clear plan increases your chance of success. The more specific your plan, the better. Knowing what you’re doing helps you feel more in control.
Mark out your exam schedule first. Double-check dates and times. Discuss any conflicts with your professors as soon as possible. Use your exam schedule to plan your study regime. Allow extra time for your weakest subjects.
Stick With Healthy Habits
Healthy habits are easily broken during exam season. Late-night cram sessions seem to make more sense than sleeping. And how would you get through them without junk food, sodas, and sugary snacks? You reason you’ll take better care of yourself once exam season’s over, but by then it will be too late.
Your brain can’t function well without good food and sleep. Eating regular meals packed with vitamins and minerals improves memory, alertness, and focus. Your brain can’t form or maintain the pathways it needs to learn and make memories when it’s deprived of sleep. Sleep-deprived people also can’t concentrate or respond as quickly as well-rested people. Sleep seven to nine hours each night for the best results.
Proper hydration is also important for staving off headaches and staying alert. Coffee is every student’s secret exam weapon, but it’s dehydrating, like other caffeinated beverages. Alternating your cups of Joe with water keeps you hydrated.
Take Time Out
You’ve probably heard from parents and teachers that studying should be your top priority during exam season. While studying certainly matters, it shouldn’t occupy your every waking moment. If you become too obsessed with studying, your stress level could impair your memory.
A little stress is an effective motivator, but keep it in check. When you feel overwhelmed, take time out to regain some balance. Do something that calms you down, such as practicing yoga, coloring, or reading a novel. As little as 30 minutes of “me time” makes a massive difference.
Talk About It
Bottling your emotions can trigger depression, anxiety, and social isolation. Reduce the risks by talking about exam time and your emotions with trusted family and friends.
Friends can be good sounding boards as they’re in the same boat. As you discuss your shared experiences, you’ll feel less alone. You might even be able to share some study tips. A little venting is fine, but watch out for conversations that fuel your stress. If chatting makes you feel more worried about your preparation about the exams ahead, it’s not productive.
Older siblings who’ve graduated from college, student counselors, teachers, and understanding parents may also help support you through your exams. Open up and you might be surprised who’s there for you.
Getting through exam season might seem impossible, but don’t lose hope. These proven strategies should help you survive this trying time relatively unscathed!