Exam Time Tips
Posted on 01/21/2020
writing an examWritten by Erin Roach, Student Journalist

Hey students, it’s getting to be that time of the year again. Whether exam season is your greatest strength, your biggest fear or both, these assessments are something we all must endure this month. Exams are tough, with multiple stresses and the heavy weighting of the test itself applying mass amounts of pressure. The mental strain students go through can often make it seem like there just isn’t enough time in a day! So students, as we enter into the last month of the first semester, here are a few tips to make your exam season a success.

Your Study Environment

Study in a calm and quiet space with little object, noise and visual distraction. Studying in a specific space (a desk) every time lets your brain know that when you sit there, it’s time to work. Some studies show changing the study environment works well for some people, so pick which method is best for you. Noise levels should be low, though it is suggested that classical music is the genre to listen to if you need sound/music. Keep your work area neat and limit the use of technology if possible.

Your Notes/Study Material

Ask for exam reviews early and start them when you have a little extra time. This gives you lots of time for studying and you won’t feel like you have to cram the night before the exam. Organize your binders by unit and make summary sheets per unit if you have time to do so. Using a blue pen has been proven better for memorization, and using an array of highlighters might help to pinpoint key information. When trying to memorize something, rewrite it, as this is often one of the best tools for memory.

Take Breaks

Studying is difficult. One of the main reasons for this is that it takes hours on end of simply sitting - looking over the same material - over and over. Boredom is inevitable if you choose to study non-stop, so give your brain a break. Try studying in chunks of 40 minutes with a 10 minute break in between to increase productivity. This also helps to decrease procrastination because if you study for 40 minutes straight, those 10 break minutes are well-deserved and you won’t feel bad for taking them.

Take Care of Your Mind and Body

Be sure to keep yourself healthy at this time, as it will help your brain retain the information you learned in the last 4 months. This means getting lots of sleep, staying hydrated, eating healthy foods (make sure you have protein to keep your brain refreshed and running), and taking the breaks previously mentioned. Don’t exhaust yourself mentally, as it will only make studying harder. Take it all in, one step at a time, and before you know it, it will all be over.

Relax on Exam Day

Once you step into a classroom for the last time on exam day, know that there’s nothing more you can do. All of your studying (and procrastination) is in the past, so relax, and rely on your knowledge and common sense to get you through. There’s no point in worrying about studying if it isn’t an option anymore.

Whether you choose to follow these tips or not, we’ve all got studying to do. Prepare to the best of your ability, and be proud of the last months of work you’ve put in, because you’re almost there! Happy January and good luck with all of your exams this semester!