Hello, my fellow students. Unfortunately, I greet you during that dreaded time of the year: finals week. And yeah, sure, the long nights of studying are pretty bad, admittedly. But, in my opinion, what can be even worse is that little voice in you head that that starts speaking up right before the final. You know the one. It says horrible things such, “You studied the wrong material,” or even, “I bet you’re going to forget everything you studied the moment you sit down!” Gosh. What a jerk that voice is. 😦
Anyway, I feel that a lot of the time, it’s this test anxiety that makes finals week so nerve-wracking, scary and stressful! However, over my test-taking years I’ve found a few techniques that have helped me reduce my anxiety and go into the exam room feeling focused, awake and confident! Listed below are my techniques in hopes that this helps you all have the best finals week ever! Kick those test’s butt! ❤
Start your studying early
First and foremost, making sure you’re well prepared and know the material to the best of your abilities is the number one way to not feel as stressed out before a test. However, this also means not cramming it into the week before the test either, especially if you have multiple tests to worry about. I usually recommend starting ahead of schedule–at least two to three weeks beforehand–so that it is much easier to spread out your studying and not cram a lot in your brain at once.
Get a good night’s sleep the day before
I’ve attempted to take a test while sleep deprived. Though I passed, it took me a lot longer to finish because my brain couldn’t focus and I had to reread the questions multiple times. I also found that I kept making little, stupid mistakes a lot more often than usual. Therefore, keep your mind fresh and make sure you get plenty of rest the night before.
Eat a (healthy) snack before the exam
I have also gone to an exam hungry. Don’t do that either. Instead of taking longer to finish like the example above, I was trying to hurry my way through the test so I can be done and go eat. Not to mention I was so focused on making sure my stomach didn’t growl loudly, that I couldn’t put all my attention on the test in front of me. Again, it led me to make a lot more stupid mistakes that cost me easy points. Not to mention, certain healthy foods have been said to reduce stress such as fresh fruits and vegetables or maybe some nuts.
Drink some water!
Our brain needs water to function properly. Don’t believe me? Google it! Therefore, being dehydrated can lead to your overworked brain to stress out more because it’s craving something it needs in order to work properly! Friendly warning though: Make sure not to drink too much water, so you don’t have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the exam!
Get your blood flowing!
This can range from a quick exercise program to a simple two-minute stretch routine. Regardless, getting your blood flowing helps to create a calming effect on your body which can help you reduce that built-up anxiety you have from all that previous studying!
Listen to upbeat music
This is my personal favorite! Usually as I’m walking to the exam room I make sure my headphones are at the ready and blast the happiest music I can find. This lifts up my spirits and even might make me break out some dance moves! Both of these things help me calm down and stop me from thinking about the stressful time ahead!
Never try and cram before a test
I know, I know! You just want to make sure you know absolutely everything! Just double checking that one little fact that could be crucial to your grade, right? However, that one little fact check can sometimes quickly turn into you furiously turning pages trying to read as much as possible. Don’t do this! Sure you might remember some last minute things, but you also have the chance of confusing or forgetting stuff you already put in long-term memory! If your worried you might forget something or just want to refresh your memory, causally go through your notes. However DON’T make this a last minute study session. Hopefully, you’ve done all the studying you needed!