Friday, October 17, 2014

Steps on how to De-Stress for an In-Class Exam

by Olympia Georgeson

We all get nervous before an in-class exam, but we can manage the stress by following a few steps.

1) First, you will need to prepare at least a week before your exam. Procrastination increases stress level and therefore decreases memory retention. Prepare by making your materials user-friendly (mark up your books and highlight your notes and essays). Then organize your materials into sections for each study-day because you will absorb information the best if you don’t have an overload of information.

2) In terms of general preparation, get your 8 hours of sleep in. Eat well the night before and morning of the exam by eating proteins and fruits. It is best to avoid an overload of carbohydrates because that will make you sleepy. Ultimately, keep hydrated for mild hydration can weaken cognitive functioning. After reviewing your notes, take a break before the exam.

3) Give yourself time to get to the exam room so that you can go to the bathroom beforehand. Arrive about 10 minutes early to get settled and look over your notes. If needed, practice breathing exercises during or before exam.

4) Once you get the paper of questions, first attempt the questions that you know the best. This will save time and increase your confidence level. When you go back to the questions that are more difficult for you, try your best and don’t leave a question blank. Give yourself 15 minutes at the end to recheck your answers.

5) After your exam, reward yourself at the end. Also, use positive reinforcement: “I did and am doing my best.” The exam is now out of your control, so try not to continue to stress about it.

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