Keys to Preparing for Final Exams

With the end to our first semester at a new location drawing closer, that means it’s finally time to prepare for those dreadful final exams. For most students, especially honors and AP, this can be a stressful and exhausting period, but there are many ways to prepare. Stress and anxiety are big reasons why students struggle to focus and prepare for their exams. I am here to give you some key tips to limiting stress and studying efficiently, which are sure to guarantee good results on exam day.

How to Limit Stress:

Physical Activity– Exercise and physical activity are perfect ways to eliminate stress. Participating in something physically active helps increase blood flow, gives you energy, and releases endorphins to make you feel better. Something as simple as walking the dog, jogging, riding a bike, or doing some push ups will clear your mind instantly and calm you down. Try exercising once a day for at least thirty minutes and you will see how drastically it changes your mood and anxiety levels.

Eat healthy– There’s no question that the food you eat directly correlates to your stress levels and ability to focus, so it’s important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Try replacing sugary snacks with healthier options, and you will feel energized and be more productive. Drinking water and staying hydrated is also very important.  Your brain works best when it’s hydrated and dehydration causes fatigue and headaches. Try to drink coffee and energy drinks sparingly, because they dehydrate your body.

Get some sleep– It’s no surprise that a good night’s rest makes you feel more energized and enables you to focus during the day. Resist the urge to stay up late and study and manage your time so you get at least six hours every night. Naps can also be helpful if you must stay up late studying.

How to Study Effectively:

Create a study schedule (and follow it)– Developing a balanced schedule of study periods can be very beneficial to retaining important information and staying focused. Make studying a priority, and allow yourself time every day to review topics that are especially challenging or were covered early in the semester first. Don’t cram study, and split up the material evenly so you are reviewing everything.

Ask questions and take advantage of review guides/sessions–  Teachers are obviously a fantastic source to review difficult information and answer any questions you may have. Many create and offer study guides and review sessions for your benefit, so take advantage of them. These highlight key ideas that will likely be on the exam.

Varietize your studying– Trying out different ways of studying and finding what works best for you is a great way to learn. Using multiple study methods can be super beneficial and can help you retain as much information as possible. Studying with friends, teaching others, using flashcards, and watching videos are good alternatives to conventional study methods like reading a textbook or reviewing written notes. This can also make studying a lot less boring than it usually is.

Good luck on exams and have a great second semester!

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