Final Exams: Five Great Tips for Keeping Your Cool

Are you going to be taking final exams soon? Maybe you’re feeling anxious about having enough time to study. This is a common emotion when facing a test, but it doesn’t have to define your test-taking experience.

Follow these tips and you’ll be five steps closer to success:

1. Get enough rest. Students often spend less time sleeping when finals are coming up. However, plenty of rest can really help your calmness and focus. Skipping sleep is a sure way to get worked up about final exams.
Here are some suggestions:

  • Try to get eight full hours of sleep each night.
  • If you plan to study late at night, get a few hours’ rest earlier in the day instead of working straight throughout the daytime and into the night.
  • Ensure your mattress and pillow are comfortable so you actually get restful sleep whenever you hit the sack.

2. Be prepared. It may not be possible to commit an entire year’s syllabus to memory in the days leading up to finals. However, you can prepare yourself a little better by pacing your studies throughout the course.
To be better prepared:

  • Ensure you understand each topic when it’s taught. This way, reviewing it will just be a refresher instead of learning it for the first time.
  • Set a pre-exam study schedule to include time for each subject and try to stick to it.

3. Take supplements. Studying for final exams can be stressful, but you can make sure that your brain is ready to tackle the mountain of information. While rest is important for getting the brain in order, taking multivitamins and supplements can also help a lot.

  • Try finding a supplement that’s tailored for improved brain function, or at least take a good multivitamin.
  • Ensure the supplements are taken according to recommendations so you get the most benefit from them.
  • Maintain a healthy diet while on the supplements so they can produce maximum effectiveness. Although it may be tempting to get fast food when you’re busy, eating right helps keep your body and mind ready for the rigors of test taking.

4. Drink tea. There are many herbal teas available that calm the nerves and soothe the jitters. Ingredients to look for include chamomile and lavender. Some people also find mint refreshing. In the days prior to the exam, have a cup or two of tea each day. This can put you in the right frame of mind to relax, concentrate, and absorb all that you’re studying.

5. Improvise rather than leaving it blank. On the day of your final exams, you may still feel somewhat nervous, especially if you run into a question that has you baffled. However, there’s always room to improvise on your responses. Unless your instructor has specified otherwise, you’ll be much better off trying to answer than leaving the question blank.

Managing the stress of final exams is certainly attainable if you follow these simple tips. You may not always feel completely prepared for every final exam you take. However, how you handle yourself prior to and during the exams can bring greater exam success, and will certainly bring you more peace of mind.

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Former Digital Social Media Strategist & former Silicon Valley; Living in Ventura, California. Still into Gentle/Yin Yoga and daily walks with Priska, my cat.