Don’t freak out, but exam season is just around the corner. This is undoubtedly the most stressful time of year for students, with the last few classes feeling twice as long and the tantalizing promise of summer fun just out of reach. Be it arts, sciences, or anything in between, those exams are coming for you whether you like it or not. However, this does not mean you have to be unprepared. Here are a few tips for a successful (and hopefully stress free) exam season.
- This tip is a no brainer. Unless you have a photographic memory, studying is probably advisable. It’s a good idea to start studying a few weeks before your exam, or at the very least, begin to compile your notes so that you’re ready to go. Studying earlier will allow you to digest information much more easily, and in more manageable chunks. This is especially important for those of you who have exams in the first few days of exam week. Give yourself the time, and you’ll thank yourself later for not waiting last minute to session cram until the wee hours of the morn.
- The end of the semester is close, but you’re not done yet. You can party, binge watch Netflix, et cetera later. Getting enough sleep is important to reduce stress levels and keep your immune system strong. Memory lapses can occur when your brain doesn’t get enough rest, and that’s a big “no” when you’ve got a heap of things to remember for your exams. While some people need more hours of sleep, and others need less, the recommended average of sleep for an adult is roughly seven to eight hours. Start adjusting your sleep schedule now so that you’ll go into exam season fresh and invigorated.
- Find a study space. Be it a specific floor of the library, a coffee shop, or your desk at home, it’s highly recommended that you find a study space. Your study space should ideally be quiet, have little to no distractions, and make you feel comfortable. Having a study space will help you focus on what’s important and get the bulk of your work done.
- Your mental health is more important than your GPA. We all get stressed. Some people are better able to handle their stress than others, and that’s perfectly okay! If you’re working hard, you deserve to play hard, too. If you find yourself straining, taking a break is a perfectly viable option. Make yourself some tea, take a quick nap, go to the gym, take a walk, talk to a friend or your family. Do what makes you the happiest to relax. If you feel that you need additional help, there are several resources on campus that will give you access to professional assistance. Check out the Peer Support Centre in the ASU or speak with a counsellor at the SUB.
- Stay healthy. The weather has been weird lately. We’re into spring, but there’s still snow here and there. Be sure to keep warm and wash your hands. The last thing you want to be is sick during exam week, and you certainly don’t want to make your peers sick as well. Be sure to eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, and get some exercise in when you have time to spare. Sleep also plays into keeping your immune system strong, so it’s doubly important.
- Scout exam locations. This is especially important for first years. There’s no feeling worse than showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time for an exam. If you’re unsure where your exam is taking place, be sure to contact your professor before hand or check out your exam schedule as posted at Acadia Central. If your exam is being held in a building that you’ve never heard of or never have been to, it is highly recommended that you take the time to go there physically and find the specific room. There’s no such thing as being overprepared. Well, maybe. But it’s better than being underprepared.
With these tips in mind, good luck with your exams!