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How to go into exams stronger both academically and mentally

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Exam season is a really stressful time for so many people. They are that final push toward the end of the school year. Sometimes though, this last stretch of school is just such a big push and so much work. As final exams approach this year, I’ve gone into total summer mode. I’m really over school and just ready for summer break. I’m sure everyone else is probably feeling a similar way right now. I’m in that part of the end of the year where I can see the end, but it feels like there is still so much work before I get there. I love spring and it makes me so happy to see the sun and feel the weather warming up, but honestly, exam season just kills the vibe. I can’t wait for exams to be over but as we head into these last weeks that are full of a ton of work, I have compiled a few of my favourite tips for going into exams stronger academically but also being in a better spot mentally as we face this stressful time.

Start early

I know, everyone says that, but nobody ever does it. For real though, the earlier you start, the less you will have to panic cram the night before your exam. When you begin studying earlier, you have more time to gain a deeper understanding of the topics you’re studying and not miss anything because you ran out of time. It’s easier on your brain and helps you have less stress in the long run.

Switch up where you study

When you only study in one place all the time, your bedroom for example, honestly you can kind of start to get a little crazy. Being in one place all the time can make you restless and distracted. Whenever you feel yourself starting to get off task, take a short break and then switch locations before you begin to study again. It can be hugely beneficial!

Make a plan

Sometimes the amount of work you have at the end of the semester can be overwhelming. Between studying for exams, end of term papers and just the regular classwork you have, it can be a lot. Planning out your time and deciding what days you will work on certain assignments can really help put all the work in perspective and slowly begin to cross things off your to-do list.

Take some time for yourself

When we study, we often get completely wrapped up in it. It can be very stressful, and we dedicated so much time to our school that sometimes we can lose ourselves in it all. It’s so important to take a bit of time for ourselves once in a while. Go on a walk, take a bath or read a book. Do something to give yourself a break and a bit of a recovery from the constant grind.

Prioritize

When we hit points where we have more work than hours in a day, rather than forcing ourselves to stay awake all hours of the night, learning to prioritize is important. Look at what is due first and what assignments are weighted the most. Figure out what the most important things are and that is what you should be working on first. 

Hide your phone

I find that hiding my phone from myself is really important for my success in studying. When I can see my phone I am so much more tempted to check it and go on TikTok or Instagram. When I hide my phone from myself or even just leave it in another room where I can’t see it, that distraction and desire to procrastinate goes away a lot more.

Sleep!

People have a tendency to neglect sleep during exam season. By people, I mean me, but probably a lot of other people too. I am working on not doing this so much cause even though I’m awake, I’m exhausted and nothing productive is getting done. When we sleep, we wake up more motivated and are able to get a lot more studying done than we would otherwise.

Remember that exams aren’t everything

The most important thing to remember is that exams are just exams. If you don’t get a 90 on one exam, it’s not the end of the world. School exams should not be a make-or-break thing and five years from now, when we all have careers and finished school, is your final grade on your first-year psychology exam really going to matter? Remember not to sacrifice yourself for your marks.

All of these tips are things that have helped me throughout my undergrad. Hopefully, they can help you to be more prepared for this exam season both academically and mentally. Good luck everyone!

Allie Lancaster

Wilfrid Laurier '23

Allie is a third-year at Wilfrid Laurier University double majoring in Psychology and English. She loves being outside and is a huge fan of hiking, boating and skiing. Some of her other passions include reading, drawing, travelling and her puppy.
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