Reduce Stress While Prepping for Exams

Junior Ania Briscoe takes a break from studying by reading a book for fun. Photo: Blair Myers

Before the relaxation of holiday break, Pace students will have to endure a full week of exams Dec. 11-15. Students will take exams in the following order: English, world languages, history, science and math. Students must study and retain material from the entire semester, and many will most likely feel stressed and overwhelmed. 

Students spend hours upon hours studying leading up to exams. Junior Ania Briscoe recommends taking short breaks. During breaks, she urges students to do something they love. “I like to listen to music a lot when I’m feeling stressed during exams,” said Briscoe. Taking a break for a walk or a short run can also be helpful.

Another way to relieve stress while studying is to create a study schedule for the weeks ahead. “Definitely preparing ahead of time helps, and even writing out a study schedule that says what day you’ll study for each exam can help too,” said school counselor Amelia Tuttle. Students can make a broad outline of what they want to do each day, or they can also get specific and map out the time intervals in which they will study each subject.

Students can expect some time in class to prepare for exams, as the three days before exams are X days. These X days are meant to be exam review days, and no new material can be assigned. In addition, students cannot be tested on any previous material on those days.

The library during the weeks leading up to exams can be both a quiet study space for students if they go to the third floor, or a stress relieving spot on the second floor. “Students have the opportunity to get out of their heads and that has mostly to do with the board games,” said Mr. Hamburger. He also noted that while the third floor is the quiet library, students can find puzzles to help reduce stress. The library staff also hopes to put out coloring pages and colored pencils for anyone who wants to take a break. “Students can also choose to read a book,” said Mr. Hamburger.

Ms. Tuttle recommends that students get as much sleep as possible. “The weeks ahead of exams, students should make sure to get enough sleep and eat well to build up stamina,” said Ms. Tuttle. The night before, however, she suggests reviewing material, but being sure to go to bed early. Getting those extra hours of sleep will allow students’ brains to process the information they’ve studied, and will help them remember things during the exam.

Ms. Tuttle also suggests students eat a big breakfast the morning of each exam. Protein-filled breakfast options such as eggs or a smoothie with protein added are critical because they provide the most energy.