I know that exams can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. No matter how much you try and prepare, we still feel like it is not enough. Maybe the teacher will sneak in a trick question, or maybe I forgot to cover a very important section that needed to be studied. Let go of all those irrational fears and let’s get started on preparing for the exam.
In order for me to move on, let me just get this controversial point out of the way. There is no way you are going to perform your best if you are falling asleep in class. You may start coming up with funny exam answers that your teachers would find hilarious. Get your 8 hours of sleep if it is possible. If you cannot sleep for 8 hours during finals week, at least try for 6 hours. You will still feel refreshed enough to take on the day.
Prepare your space
When your study desk is a disaster, you might be more likely to procrastinate. Organise your space so that everything is easily accessible. Have your notes and practice tests ready to go. There is something freeing when you have an organized space when you study. Your mind is less cluttered, which means, more space to take in new information.
Now that you have your space sorted out and you are all rested, it is time to work out a schedule. Which exams are you writing first and how many days are there from now until you write? If possible get some previous exam questions and answers and put that last on your schedule, so that it is still fresh in your head before your exam.
You need breaks
Let’s say you set aside 3 hours of studying for the day. You should not continuously study for those 3 hours, but instead, break it up into more attainable sections. Take a break for every 50 minutes of studying. It gives you something to look forward to and it allows your mind to absorb the information you just went over. When you come back after your break, you will have more willpower to give it another go. If you study for a few hours straight, you might become overwhelmed, stressed or just fall asleep.
Do as many practice tests as you possibly can. A great way to make this real, is to time yourself during your fake exam. This way, you feel the pressure of a real exam, but you can relax because this is not your final one. Whatever mistakes you noticed, there is time to improve or better your knowledge.
Get down to it
I can give you 100 tips and tricks on how to prepare for an exam, but if you do not actually sit down and get some work done, it is in vain. Tell yourself that you will not fail this exam and then do the studying it requires. It may sound a bit harsh, but the truth is, nothing is going to magically jump into your brain.
This may be the last thing you want to hear when you are stressed out to the max, but you need to try to relax. All you can do at this point is give it your all. Go over all your notes and previous tests and breathe. When you are in the exam room and the test starts to overwhelm you, it is important to stay calm. If you start to panic, you will only make the situation worse. You want your mind to stay as calm as possible, so that you do not forget anything you have learned.
After the exam is done and dusted, you should not do a post-partum on what happened. Do not look up any answers to questions you struggled with. Give it some time, because if that answer turns out different from what you wrote down, you might cause yourself a lot of sleepless nights. Let it be and move on to the next step. You did your best and the results will come out eventually. For now, take a long bath and get some must needed rest.
There is no reason in the world why you cannot do well in any exam. Hard work and commitment can get you far. Many students think that the smart kids always sit with their books day in and day out, but if you have a system in place, you can make it happen. Instead of stressing, I suggest you focus on getting some work done. Stressing never solved anything, but studying is where you will find your success. God luck, study hard and always believe that you can achieve success in anything you do.