How to Tackle Stress as You Prepare for Final Exams
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How to Tackle Stress as You Prepare for Final Exams

Student Life

May 16, 2020

I bet almost every teenager out there dislikes final exams. I, on the other hand, had a different relationship with those “important” pieces of paper: I’m scared of them!

I understand that exams are essential to test our knowledge and comprehension of a course’s materials, so I always make sure that I grind carefully and thoroughly as I study in the days before. However, there’s one thing that I couldn’t really avoid whenever I prepared for exams since I entered high school: S-T-R-E-S-S. Yes, stress. Being stressed out is no longer a new feeling for us students anymore, especially for those who are studying in some Asian countries.

Besides the knowledge that you need to stuff into your head, some of you are pressured a lot by your parents, teachers, or even your country’s educational system. I know these tips cannot “shoo” those stresses away, but it could somehow help students who want to nail those finals with having their well-being/mental health in check.

These are the 6 tips that I have found effective for myself in preparing for exams, so I hope they will benefit you too!

Know your Test Dates

I know it sounds obvious, but keeping track of your exam schedules and having them written down somewhere are definitely not needless. I don’t recommend “storing” them entirely in your memory. We usually have many things going on during review and exam weeks.

I own a bullet journal and a planner to keep me organized in school work and “ life work” as well. Whenever I receive a notification from a teacher about an upcoming exam, I will immediately note down on the daily log of that day of my planner, so that I will have a general view of what will come my way next week. By doing that, I will have a clear view of which subject test I have on which day, how many tests I have in a day/week, how much time I need to study the night before, etc. This process is extremely helpful for drawing out my study plans and strategies, as well as knowing my priorities.

Know your Priorities

Knowing your priorities is super crucial in planning out your studying routine. For example, if you are having 3 exams next week, you might want to study first for the one that you will take on Monday and study for the other two later. Or, you might want to spend more time “grinding” the harder subject’s information. No more “I just realized I have an exam the next period,” but “I know what to study and when to study” and “I will get the grades that I want.”

Divide into Small Tasks

“Being productive does not mean being busy all the time”

To avoid feeling overwhelmed whenever you start sitting down and working, plan out what you need to do in a specific amount of time and finish them one-by-one. Multitasking will not help you much, I promise. If you want to learn more about the harmful effects of multitasking, click on this link!

Take a Break!

“Work hard, Play harder”

My favorite part of every studying session is taking breaks, of course! I can’t sit still on my chair for longer than 30 minutes, to be fair.

Taking breaks is super essential if you think about it, but not everyone knows how to have breaks in the right way. Here are some of my recommendations:

  • Try not to play games or scroll social media on your tech gadgets.

  • Get up and move a little.

  • Drink some water. Super important!

  • Get a snack if you’re always hungry :)

  • Go outside if you can

Remember not to take your break for way too long, or it will be hard to start again :)

Listen to your Body

Why do you need to “listen” to your body?

During this stressful time, you could easily push yourself too hard and ignore the “red” signals your body is using to alarm you. It’s great that you’re working hard, but knowing when to stop and recharge is crucial as well. The exams will come and go, but you should always take good care of your health in the long term. Don’t skip working out if you can, don’t forget to drink water, and get enough sleep.

Thank you for reading! I hope these tips are helpful! Remember to take good care of yourself and kill those exams!

Nina Tran
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Writer since Mar, 2020 · 19 published articles

Nina is a Vietnamese high school student, currently studying in the U.S. She hopes you're enjoying the amazing articles on The Teen Magazine!