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5 Quick Tips to Help Conquer Exams

While midterms seemingly ended just yesterday, the April exam season is (unfortunately) near. It’s useful to start thinking about how you’re going to tackle those finals well ahead of time to minimize stress and maximize success. The following are a few quick tips to help you get by.

1. Visualize your workload. Physical calendars, iCal, and dollar-store agendas are excellent tools for visualizing what will be expected of you in the upcoming weeks. Laying out your schedule will not only help you to keep on track, but will also be an asset when it comes to crunch time and prioritizing. Often, we tend to feel there just isn’t enough time to cram all the information we need, but with the right focus, each day of exam prep can be used to its full potenial.

2. Create lists. Putting into bulletpoints the tasks you need to accomplish everyday will help the workload seem less overwhelming. The more specific the bulletpoint, the more you will feel you’ve achieved each time you cross a task off your list. (Adding errands like groceries or laundry will help schedule you productive breaks as well!)

3. Fuel your brain. ​You simply can’t think without the right kind of brain foods. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, carnivorous, or anything in between, there are a range of foods to incorporate into your diet to maximize your studying potential. Certain foods contain nutrients to lower stress, boost and sustain energy levels, and keep you alertHere is a list to get you started. And don’t forget, staying hydrated with non-sugary drinks is a must for clear thinking!

4. Take strategic, productive breaks. If your studying has you sitting in front of the computer for hours on end, a productive break will most likely consist in getting away from that blue glare! Walks, face-to-face conversations, or breaks for hobbies will help re-energize you without sucking you into distractions (think Facebook) or powering off your brain (think reality TV). Some good old-fashioned oxygen never hurt anyone!

5. Seek resources. Resources are a crucial part of the exam season. Make sure you have access to the right resources in times of crisis, whether your crisis is academic (i.e. missing notes), personal, or economic. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, guidance from teaching assistants, good company in friendship, class notes and practice sets, tips from course alumnus/alumnae, and McGill’s student services. We’re all in this together after all!

That said, I wish you all the best this April. See you on the other side!

Image Retrieved From: http://lawschooltoolbox.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/studying.jpgThumb… Image by Irmak Aydemir

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