10 Ways to Prepare for Exam Week

Exam week is coming up soon and so is the stress of how to manage time wisely. It is easy to feel like there is too much to do with too little time.There are a few things that I do to keep myself organized, well rested and prepared for my exams and I would like to share them with you.

1. Schedule Everything

You don’t have to go crazy and schedule every minute of every day, but take the time to write out your schedule for the week before and the week of your exams. This way you can visibly see when you have time to study and where you can take a break to relax your body and mind.

2. Take a Break

Don’t spend all of your time studying. Many studies including this one recommend limiting yourself to 60-90 minutes of studying. Limit yourself to an hour of studying with 15 minute breaks in between where you can eat, cruise the internet, take a quick walk, rest your eyes, etc.

3. Find a Study Buddy

Sometimes studying alone can lead to procrastination and distractions. Find someone in your class or a friend who may be in the same course and pick a day to study together. Prepare for the study session ahead of time, choosing what topics you want to look over; maybe they will have a different understanding or way of explaining than your professor, which could help you understand the concepts better.

4. Do Not Study in Your Bed

Beds are for sleeping, not studying. That was advice that my professor gave my class last year and I found it to be true. When you study in bed, you run the risk of dozing off or just not paying attention because you are too comfortable. Get out of your bedroom and into a different place so you can truly focus. The library may be packed but it is a great place to study, and there are plenty of other places on campus that provide quiet spaces like the lounges in NCB or Deet’s Place. Most apartment complexes around campus have study rooms in their clubhouses.

5. Avoid Cramming

Waiting until the night before to pull an all-nighter and cram an entire book of information into your brain will do nothing but cause you stress and make you too tired to focus the next day. Start studying about two weeks before; find the topics that you truly struggle with so that you can have time to really focus on understanding them.

6. Utilize Study Guides

Some professors give out study guides for their exams, which are some of the best tools to use. Generally, the information they put on these guides is what they want you to focus on and understand. You are not required to use them, but at least look at them so you have a guide of what you need to read over once or twice.

7. Office Hours

GO TO OFFICE HOURS! They are there for a reason and you should take full advantage of your professors’ time and attention. If you can’t make it to their office hours you can always email them to set up a different time to time. Prepare questions about previous exams or concepts that you find confusing.

8. Eat!

In elementary school we are told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that is still true. Time is always a concern, but you can always prepare something the night before and eat it on the way if you are really struggling for time. Overnight oats with some fruit, like bananas, strawberries, blueberries, etc., or yogurt with granola are two really simple ideas that I personally enjoy. Pinterest is also a great place to find more ideas on a quick and easy breakfast. (Warning: Do not get sucked into the Pinterest vortex during your study time.)

9. Sleep!

Do not stay up all night studying before an exam. Give yourself at least six-to-seven hours to sleep, but if you can get 8 hours that would be the optimal to make sure you are fully rested. A Tired mind will just be too overworked to focus on the questions or properly think through the answers. Get some rest, it will make you feel better and it will make your exams a little less stressful.

10. Don’t Give Up!

Yes, it may get stressful and you will get tired but you will get through it. This close to the end, giving up is not an option. If you need a glimpse of the light at the end of tunnel to get you through, just remember that at the end of exam week you have three months of summer fun to look forward too.

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