How to Survive Exams

How to Survive Exams

By Rachel Richter


Whether you are a student or a teacher at Seton, the topic of exams is most likely on your mind.  For better or for worse, exam week has begun at Seton High School.  After two quarters, over four months, and exactly 84 schooldays, students prepare to be tested on all of the knowledge they have gained from each of their seven classes.  For many, the idea of exams is a major source of stress.  Although there is no way to avoid exams altogether, there are fortunately a few simple things you can do to make the process a little easier on yourself.

Perhaps the oldest trick in the book is to get an adequate amount of sleep.  Even though you have heard this a million times, sleep really does make a difference!  Sleep is what will fuel you and give you the energy you need to do well.  Without sleep as your foundation, you will lack in motivation, willingness, and energy to do your work.  Don’t worry about staying up all night to study.  If you put effort into the time you spend studying, and then go to bed at a reasonable hour, this will ultimately pay off in the long run.  Do your work, but also get some sleep.

Another helpful tip when it comes to studying for exams is to reward yourself.  Rather than half-studying and half-procrastinating, save the social media and texting until after you have completed a certain amount of work.  Give yourself study goals, and only splurge on recreation after you have “earned” it.  This is a great way to work efficiently without constantly getting distracted.

The foods that you eat can also impact your performance level on exams.  Making simple changes to your diet can improve both your health and your studies.  When studying, drink water rather than caffeinated drinks.  Water helps to clear your mind of stress and headaches, while caffeinated drinks only serve to excite your brain, making it harder to focus and leaving you tired after the caffeine wears off.  Also, avoid energy drinks altogether.  They are extremely bad for you, your heart, and your overall health – they are not worth it.  Choosing to eat healthy snacks such as fruit rather than chocolate will also have a positive effect on your brain.  Fruit helps to activate and engage your mind, allowing you to focus better on studying.  Also, many people may not be aware that mints are extremely helpful study tools.  Anything with a peppermint flavor is proven to improve memory.  Senior Sam Hissett explains, “I have always liked to chew gum when studying or doing homework.  It helps me to focus and I actually think it makes a difference.”  A simple change in the foods you eat could affect your performance on exams.

The final step to surviving exams is to RELAX!  If you have prepared yourself well, there is nothing more you can do.  Just try your best and be confident in the information that you know.  When it comes time to take exams, I like to look to Walt Disney’s advice, “Why worry? If you’ve done the very best you can, worrying won’t make it any better.”

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