The air is cold, and smells of coffee, red bull, and more coffee. Books are scattered across the library floors where students frantically flip through pages hoping to find something inside that will salvage their grades. Their brains are more chaotic and confusing than a completed scantron sheet, creating a sense of impending doom: it’s like the apocalypse… the Exam-ocalypse.
Keeping your cool during this time of year is an incredibly difficult task as exam related stress is both mentally and physically exhausting. Don’t let this time of year get the best of you; keep cool, and prepare yourself for battle.
If you’re going to be battling against the books for the next few weeks, preparing yourself mentally and physically can be just as important as the information you are studying.
- Dress comfortably: Don’t waste your time getting distracted by your itchy shirt, or tight jeans.
- Create and follow routines: Students who dedicate specific times and days for studying tend to do better on exams than students who study sporadically throughout the week. Schedule a time of the day dedicated solely to studying, and follow your routine and your studies will begin to feel more natural, and less overwhelming.
- Set goals and reward yourself: Before you start studying tell yourself how long you’re going to study for, or how much you’re going to study. If you reach your goal, take a break and reward yourself. Studying without direction typically ends in frustration. Set study goals for yourself to create some direction to keep you on the right path.
Write down your strategy
Writing down what exams you have to write, what assignments you have to finish, and the due dates makes the giant looming cloud of exam season seem a little more approachable! Remember that your exam anxiety can make everything seem a whole lot scarier than it really is. Seeing your worries from a different perspective can help you calm down, and make a game plan of what task to finish, and when.
Keep your health in tact
Properly fuelling your body and brain with the right foods is essential during exam period, as your physical state is just as important as your mental state! A healthy diet can reduce stress, and help prepare and mend your body for the strenuous few weeks ahead. Check out Zahra’s healthy eating tips.
Always rest before battle
Sleep helps you remember the information you’ve learnt during a study session. If you pull an all nighter, it’s likely that you won’t retain the majority of the information you crammed. Sleep also helps you stay alert, focused, and level headed, which is crucial when writing an exam. Always plan your time adequately and get plenty of sleep!
Get your head in the game
When you’ve studied all you can, and you’re about to sit down and write that exam, remember that positive thinking takes you a long way. Don’t set yourself up for failure by telling yourself you can’t do it. Try pumping yourself up by listening to your favourite motivational song (I highly recommend the Pokemon theme song). Be confident in yourself. Calm down and say “yo, I got this” to yourself at the start of every exam (the “yo” is optional but recommended for maximum results.) Most importantly, be kind to yourself, think positively, and don’t psych yourself out by saying that you can’t do it when you can!
The Exam-ocalypse is a scary time of uncertainty and stress, don’t let it get the best of you. Set routines, reward yourselves, and ace those finals!
We’ve got more study resources for you!
Zahra’s “Eat, Sleep, RepEAT” healthy eating ideas and advice.
RU Studying video, Cole’s 10 tips for studying your way to success.
15 Ways to Beat Exam-Time Burnout, on our Buzzfeed.
Read Ramisha’s personal experience with burnout and how to make it to the other side: Burnout: It hurts, it burns, it bruises, but I’ll survive.
And, when all else fails, channel this little guy and know that everything will be alright.
Cover photo taken by @brychong.