How To Keep Your Cool During Finals

By Lila De Almeida

With finals fast approaching, many students feel pressure from teachers, mentors, parents, and themselves to score highly. This pressure can often feel suffocating, but there are a few simple ways to alleviate the stress while still studying up.

  1. Start studying in advance to avoid cramming.

Cramming right before an exam is ineffective in the long run; the panic that sets in makes it much harder to take in and comprehend the material. It is more beneficial to learn things rather than make an attempt to memorize them. In order to do this, you must start your studying weeks or even months before the final.

  1. Develop a study plan and pace yourself.

Even if you have already ignored tip #1, it is possible not to cram. Outlining what you have to study each day ensures that no topic gets skipped, and it also prevents you from getting overwhelmed.

  1. Eat and sleep sufficiently beforehand.

It is important to stay alert while taking an exam. Therefore, you must eat something nutritious and sleep eight hours in preparation for your finals.

  1. Study questions you have previously answered incorrectly.

Along with your study guide, it is often imperative to review concepts with which you have previously struggled. A common mistake students make is wasting energy reviewing things they already know. This often makes them feel more confident in themselves, but it is much more valuable to study lessons that they are unsure of or unfamiliar with. A flawless way to do this is to look through tests and quizzes that you have already completed earlier in the semester. It is easy to notice a pattern of what you struggle with, so you can know what to target when reviewing. Also, exam questions are often reused from previous assessments, or at least bear some similarity to them.

  1. Avoid negative self-talk and keep it in perspective.

A bad attitude makes a high score seem impossible. Instead, it is important to assure yourself that you have prepared sufficiently and will do the best you can. Furthermore, you must recognize that an exam does not determine your worth or intelligence. Associating a test score with self-worth creates unneeded anxiety. 

Good luck to all test takers this year!