Final exams are just around the corner. Need an A? Praying for a C? Whether you’re a good student or a just-getting-by student, finals add stress to your life. Yes, stress is a component of life for just about everyone, a natural release of chemicals tied to our will to survive and be strong. To help you get better grades without the worry, we’ve assembled 12 secrets to reduce stress during final exams.
1. Say NO.
Friends and family may ask for you to do things when you’re preparing for exams. It’s an easy time to say “hey, I’ve got some big exams coming up and need to prepare – can we talk about it after I ace them?”. Even if they insist, be strong. Just say no.
2. Get Organized.
If your mind is cluttered with life tasks, spend 30 minutes dumping everything on paper. As David Allen teaches in his Getting Things Done books, your mind becomes stressed trying to juggle memories. By committing them to paper, you release that burden. Map tasks to your calendar, schedule any appointments and set your priorities around studying.
3. Build Smart Notes.
In addition to removing the stress of task management, you can help your efforts by cataloging your notes. Reviewing, from a high level, what you have covered will help you determine where you need to allocate more study time. For example, if you’re studying Medieval History and missed a couple of weeks in the middle of the semester, you know you’ll need to find those notes from a friend and review them heavily. BTW, our apps CaptureNotes and CaptureAudio are well-known for making test reviews easier
4. Create a Study Schedule.
Once you have a general understanding of where you need to focus your studying, you can plan your study schedule. Pick blocks of time when you can avoid being disturbed, not just the night before the exam. Your brain needs to absorb information over a period of time to retain it.
5. Visualize Test Success.
Confidence may seem like a stupid new age concept, but if you visualize yourself studying and doing well on the test, it can trick your mind into doing just that. Each morning, visualize that A…
6. Join a Study Group.
We’ve discussed the benefits of study groups before – find a good group to work with, and you can help yourself learn as you teach others, and vice versa.
7. Exercise & Eat well
Your body is a machine, and your brain needs proper care. Although it is less than 5% of your body weight, your brain consumes 20% of your energy. Your brain requires two things: fuel and oxygen. A good workout and proper diet helps your brain think more clearly.
8. Avoid stressful people.
Ah, the company you keep… Stress is somewhat contagious – if you hang around with people who are freaking out, you just may freak out too. Chill out!
9. Spend 30 minutes doing something purely for fun.
If you overdo it, you’ll pull a muscle 🙂 Don’t overdo the fun either, but take a stress break during your studying too. Do something you really enjoy, like playing a game, hanging out with friends, listening to music or watching television (or YouTube).
10. Limit Your Caffeine and Sugar.
This hurts to even say (we’re addicted to coffee), but caffeine and sugar are not great for your study time. You can experience jitters or crashes, so instead, consider water and healthier alternatives.
Yes! The best thing! We’ve suggested that sleep is critical before. Especially since your brain rewires itself during sleep, do it to solidify your learning. Study, rest, remember better.
12. Learn What Works
Even if we’re making suggestions, not all of them work for everyone. So take the ideas that work for you and use them going forward. If you LIKE hanging around with stressful people, then go for it (if it doesn’t bother you or your results). If you are addicted to cafe lattes, so be it. Do what works for you (but keep an eye on the results).
Reduce Stress During Final Exams
We hope our ideas help you reduce your stress during final exams. You now have a checklist of ideas to try and adapt to your own habits.
Good luck on your final exams, and make better grades! (You’re visualizing that, right?)