Do Not Go Gentle into that Dark Exam Season

Semester two has finally come to an end. With only a few weeks left, exams are on the horizon. They are far away enough to not be the top priority on our mind, but close enough that we occasionally try to convince ourselves to start studying early this year. Final exam procrastination is very real for me. I’ve experienced it every year since enrolling, but this year I’ve been determined to prepare for finals early and extremely well. Here is a list of pre-exam tips that have helped me to get on track and take on exam season confidently.


  1. Mark Down Your Calendar


If you haven’t already done this, do it! Your teachers will have posted the dates of your final exams by now so take a few moments and jot them down on your calendar. If you use your phone as your calendar, make a point to write down the days of your exams on a piece of paper and post that somewhere in your room where it’s visible. It can be easy to dismiss the arrival of exams. They sneak up on you, and if you don’t pay attention, you’ll have a long week of sleepless nights ahead of you.  

  1. Organize Your Time in Advance


Give yourself enough time to study everything. If you wait until the night before an exam, you’ll be tempted to leave out chapters from your review to prioritize your limited time. Take a few minutes and jot down a summary of what you’ve done each week for all of your courses. Like most students, you may have forgotten the topics from the first week and this step will revive your memory. With all the topics you need to study written out before you, you’ll see that there is a lot of revision to do. When organizing in advance, don’t let the massive quantity of work tempt you into procrastination. Stay on track by creating a plan of action where you breakdown the review process. Dedicate at least an hour or two for each class per day. Try to follow your study plan every day leading up to the exam.


  1. Stock Up on Healthy Snacks for a Pre-Exam Diet Revamping


It’s always recommended to have a healthy breakfast before your exams, but what about every day of studying for that big day? An apple before an exam only gives you the energy to plow through your test. Eating healthy during final revisions will help you expend the needed energy to actually learn the topics every day. Your brain and body will feel less exhausted than if you gave into pizza and take-out. Make it your goal to restock your house with healthy options so that if you get the munchies while studying, you’ll only have healthy options. Slowly, your body will feel replenished, refreshed and ready to take on your exams.


  1. Exercise


For someone who rarely visits the gym, I make it my priority to do so during finals week. Even if I can’t make it to the gym, I’ll do a quick high intensity workout at home for 15-20 minutes before my day begins. This is a helpful tactic to release your pent up stress. No one wants to be stuck at home or the library with their head in their books for an entire week, so working out allows you to take a moment away from your books and just think about all the fun stuff you can do once you’re done. Whenever you feel like giving up or taking a long nap, opt for a quick workout instead. Not only does this get your blood running to your head, but it’s also a healthy habit that will have you feeling revitalized for exams.


  1. Motivation


Give yourself a motto or a positive pep talk every day before you begin revising, something to make you feel good about your plan and ready to achieve your goals. I love to listen to motivational study speeches during a workout. There are tons of amazing motivational channels on YouTube that provide instant motivation from movie quotes, historically acclaimed speeches, and advice from successful gurus. It’s hard NOT to get pumped up.


Check out these brilliant youtube channels:  Motivation2Study, ProjectElon, Motiversity


With these tips at your disposal, and enough effort, you can achieve the grades you want. It’s important to remember that you get what you put in. You can’t get 100% by putting in only 50% of your time and effort. This finals week, think positively, be healthy, and don’t go gentle into your exams!