Surviving Exams

Ned’s Declassified Exam Survival Guide

Don't get overwhelmed like Senior Matt Tanenblatt. Follow  these simple tips.  Photo: Grace Francour

Don’t get overwhelmed like Senior Matt Tanenblatt. Follow
these simple tips.
Photo: Grace Francour

With exams in just three days, hopefully, you’ve already been preparing for a while. Just like any important task, it is key to have a plan going into the exams. In order to get through the week and still be a functioning human being by break, include every aspect of the next nine days in your plan. Here are five key areas in which to prepare:

1. Schedule: Start out with a strategy for how you will tackle each day. It’s not necessary to micromanage and plan to the minute, but writing down when you will study which subject and how you will study will help keep you on task.

2. Meals: No matter how badly you want to focus, the food you eat may deter your efforts. Leafy greens such as spinach and kale and whole grains will help with focus. Chewing gum also helps improve focus during especially stressful tasks. Food rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fish and walnuts help improve memory. Food is fuel; make sure you only use premium.

3. Fidget: Fidgeting can actually be beneficial for focusing during studying. Having something to fiddle with such as a stress ball will actually help your mind focus. It frees up mental energy for studying which otherwise would have been used to focus on staying still and in the zone.

4.  Breaks: Taking short breaks might actually be one of the most important ways to stay focused. A 10-minute reprieve for every 25 minutes you study will help your mind stay sharp by breaking the monotony, leaving you refreshed and ready to tackle the next 25 minutes of work. If you find that skimming through Instagram or Twitter is too distracting, moving around is a great way to keep both your mind and body energized.

5. Attitude: Approach studying and exams with confidence. Keeping a positive attitude while studying can make all the difference. Almost everyone would rather not sit at the kitchen table for hours memorizing the unit circle or decoding Shakespeare, but if you keep your goals in mind and stay positive, the time will pass faster. Failing an exam is not the end of the world and if you take the time to refresh your memory on the subject, you’ll do fine. Finally, make sure to relax and get sufficient sleep. This will help keep you positive in the morning going into the exam.


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