It's that time of the year again! With the school year rapidly slipping away and the promise of summer on the horizon, the looming cloud of finals week is enough to defeat even the most dedicated student. Whether you have been preparing since the first day of classes or are opening that textbook for the first time, there are bound to be nerves and maybe even a few tears.
But a few simple tweaks can help calm those pre-test jitters and set you on the path to success.
1. Go to the study session, office hours or just talk to your professor
Even if your prof provided a study guide and you have read the book cover to cover, the more that you prepare, the less nervous you will be. Ask the professor or TA questions about the format of the exam, so that you have a better idea of what to expect. Less surprises means less stress.
2. Make a plan
Creating a study plan and sticking to it will ensure that you have enough time to study everything that you plan to, saving you from the last minute cramming for that Friday afternoon exam.
3. Go to bed
While an all nighter might sound like a good idea, it will only make it harder for you to focus during the exam. All of that preparation will have been for nothing if you fall asleep on your desk.
4. Eat and drink more than just sugar
Coffee and energy drinks may keep you going, but you are going to need something more substantial to be at your best. Make sure you keep eating balanced meals, even if you do so over top of your textbooks.
5. Power down unnecessary electronics
If you are studying from a laptop or tablet, keep that turned on, but shut off everything else. Television, cell phones, and other electronics are only going to lead to distraction and more stress when you have to cram at the last minute.
6. Take a break!
Even if you have five finals in two days, trying to study straight through without a break is going to leave you exhausted. Take a nap, call a friend, go for a walk, take a fitness class, meditate-whatever you need to do to take a mental break and recharge before you plow through the next stack of books and notes. Remember, you worked hard through the semester, so don’t ruin that with a mental breakdown now!