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10 ways to survive and thrive during Exam Week

Final exams are just around the corner (dun, dun, dunnnnnn)! It's no biggie, if you follow these tips from Counseling & Psychological Services. 

May 18, 2018

Exam week is almost here, a stressful time compounded by the usual strain that accompanies the end of the school year. Our Counseling & Psychological Services Department has gathered some helpful tips to help our students to not only survive but to thrive during finals:

  1. Get organized. If you have not done so already, look at the finals schedule so you know which finals you have on which date. If you have projects or papers due, be sure to jot down those deadlines as well. There should be no surprises during finals week.
  2. Stick with your routine (assuming it has been a good one!). This is not the time to start a new sleep, diet, exercise or even study habit. Keep doing what’s been working for you. Set your sleep schedule and stay firm with it, even if you think you need to stay up late to study. No pulling all-nighters! Sleep will help consolidate information, improve concentration and provide enough energy for a busy week
  3. Schedule blocks of time for studying. This may seem obvious but as the end of term nears, schedules can get busy. Protect time to sit down and focus on your studies. Keep distractions such as phones away when studying. Leave your Finstas for study breaks.
  4. Have some fun. Our attention span can only be maintained for so long. Schedule in breaks so your brain can take a breather. Be sure to set a time limit though as it might be tempting to avoid going back to your work. Try a walk, a mindfulness activity, music, a Stillwell’s break or Spike Ball on the quad.
  5. Ask for help. Reach out to your teachers, classmates and friends if you have lingering questions about a course material. Try to set up a study group or review session if you find that to be helpful. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your adviser, a counselor or our school learning specialist if you need support.
  6. Expect some stress and anxiety. Remember, it is natural to experience some anxiety during this stressful time. In fact, a little anxiety can help heighten your awareness and enhance your performance. Don’t let the anxiety scare you or lead you to think you are not ready for the exams.
  7. Moderate stimulants. We all love D-Squared, but limit how much caffeine you are taking in order to focus. What goes up must come down, so too much stimulants will only result in a crash later. Restlessness due to too much stimulant can also be very distracting when you are trying to study.
  8. Keep perspective. It is easy to let your stress and anxiety get in the way. Remember, exam week is an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and one part of the larger term. Your hard work and efforts leading up to this point will all count. This is one test.
  9. Stay positive. Be proud of your work this term. You’ve got this! Go in there and show what you’ve learned. Before you know it, exam week will be behind you and summer awaits!
  10. Moment of gratitude. Yes, it's exam week, but they are also your last days on campus. All work and no play is not a balanced life. Allow yourself to appreciate the year, perhaps reach out to someone to say thank you or to reminisce about the year. Taking a moment to connect with ourselves and others helps us to be our best selves and to truly thrive.

Good luck, and have a great summer!



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