Caring for Your Body and Mind
Get Enough Rest
It may sound like a good idea to stay up all night cramming, but without sleep, your brain just won’t function. Almost all students pull all-nighters at some point, but they can have damaging effects on your brain for up to four days.
If you’re not eating properly, your brain won’t be able to function at its best. Getting enough nutrients will allow your body and brain to function optimally on exam day and while you study, make sure that you eat at regular intervals and don’t mindlessly snack on junk.
It’s tempting to load up on caffeinated beverages when you’re studying for final exams, but be careful. Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it will dehydrate you. It can also give you a wicked case of the caffeine jitters. Dehydration can cause fatigue, so drink plenty of plain, clean water.
There are several ways that visualization can help you feel more prepared fo a final exam. You can use “outcome and process visualization” to help you imagine achieving your goal, and relaxation visualization to help you destress.
Reduce Your Anxiety
This probably sounds counterintuitive: you wouldn’t have anxiety if you weren’t worried about passing your final exam, right? However, research shows that anxiety blocks your ability to focus, which really put a damper on your studying and test performance. Try some relaxation techniques when you’re feeling freaked out.
Take Regular Breaks
Study breaks are important for several reasons. There’s a limit to what our brain can handle in any one study session. Trying to push past that without giving your body any time to recover will just leave you tired.
Performing on Your Exam Day
Cram for the Exam
If you didn’t have time to prepare for your exam in advance, you may need to cram, or learn as much as possible in a short period of time for the exam. It’s not a very effective way to study, but cramming is better than not preparing at all.
You will likely be a bit nervous on the day of the exam, and it’s important to stay as calm as possible so that you can effectively take the test. There different ways to help calm yourself, including having a good breakfast and taking a walk.
Eat and Drink to Stay Alert
You want to make sure that your body and brain are as alert as possible before and during the exam. Eating and drinking the right foods and beverages will help ensure that you not only are awake but also attentive to your exam.
If you’ve attended class, taken notes, done the assignments, and studied, you can be confident that you are ready to take the exam. Having this confidence and visualizing yourself passing the exam will help you be successful.
Arrive before the Exam Starts
In order to help yourself remain calm, make sure to arrive at the exam room before the exam starts. This will not only relax you but also ensure that you can get settled in to take the test.
You only have a certain amount of time to complete an exam, so pace yourself as you work. This will ensure that you get through every section of the exam.
Attack the Exam Strategically
After you’ve given the exam a once-over, approach it strategically. This will help you maximize your knowledge and avoid getting “stuck” on things you don’t know.
Whatever you do to pass an exam, never cheat. Looking at your notes, writing information on your hands, and copying off of another person’s exams are all forms of cheating.