A huge percentage of the 20 million college students in the US this year are stressing about college exams and wondering how they're going to survive them.
Trying to study, take care of financial obligations, meet deadlines for assignments and essays and stay healthy can be a challenge for even the best of students.
Keep reading for the ultimate guide to getting through college exams in one piece.
Prepare for College Exams Early:
Many students make the mistake of procrastinating until they have to cram weeks worth of studying into one or two nights. This isn't only detrimental to success on exams but can have long term effects on your education and life.
Cramming for an exam fills your short term memory with the information, but you're taking this course to learn what you need to be successful at your career not just to pass an exam.
The more time you give yourself to understand the information you're being taught, the more you'll get out of the course and skills you'll develop for your career and life in the future.
Preparing early, keeping up on your reading for the course, and having a study schedule will reduce your stress and anxiety level when exam time rolls around.
Each year the knowledge you gain is a base for the education you'll receive later in the program. Studying throughout the term rather than just cramming for each exam will help you have a stronger knowledge base to do better in your education to come.
Don't Forget Self-Care:
One of the best things you can do to survive college exams is to be proactive in taking care of yourself and your brain. Your brain needs the right fuel, rest, hydration and nutrients to function optimally.
Before you start studying, grab some healthy snacks from the store or cafeteria. Energy bars rather than energy drinks, carrot sticks instead of licorice sticks, things that will provide vitamins and nutrients to fuel your brain.
You need to get a good night sleep so that your brain can concentrate and recall information better. This will be easier to do if you are keeping your energy up with food rather than being hopped up on energy drinks, Adderall or eating coffee right from the jar.
Have a Plan and Give Yourself a Break:
Your brain and body need rest for you to do your best and retain all the information you're studying. Successful students develop a plan for how they're going to tackle exam time.
They may study one subject for an hour, take a ten-minute break and then switch to another subject for the next hour. This makes your brain pay more attention to what you're reading because there's a change in the topic rather than six hours straight of the same thing.
Have fun and take a break but you may want to limit your alcohol intake so you aren't writing an exam with a hangover. Many hours of studying have been lost to nights of partying and mornings of recuperating from that partying. Make sure the things you do aren't counter-productive.
A Plan for Other Stuff:
Life doesn't stop at exam time so you need to have a plan for your other responsibilities in life. So you can concentrate on exams and not your other stresses.
Some students may need to schedule a few days off work or to buy essay or assignment research hacks to help ease the stress from education deadlines that are looming.
Schedule in self-care, work, studying and meal times. When you give yourself enough time and permission to relax you won't feel so stressed about needing a break because it's all part of the plan.
You Can Survive College Exams:
College exams can seem overwhelming but you can survive them if you have a plan and remember to take care of yourself.
For more tips on taking care of yourself check out our Health & Fitness section and connect with us today.