Thursday, March 20, 2014

Surviving Exam Week

by Sarah H., Panther Blogger

There is nothing worse than looking at the Exam Week schedule and realizing that most of your exams are 8 a.m.'s on back-to-back days.  How am I going to beat the exam week blues?  By setting a schedule for myself and focusing on one thing at a time. I have always been one to over-think tests, causing me to stress and forget the things I knew so well the night before.  Over the years, I've slowly learned how to cope with the stress and learn the routines that help me best.

First of all, don't over stress.  Yes, exams are extremely important and are sometimes just what you need to get that grade up, but over-stressing just makes things worse.  This is when the phrase "just breathe" comes in handy!  Breathe calmly through the exam, and just focus on one question at a time.  Don't overwhelm yourself with the whole test at once (another thing I am very guilty of).

Second, make sure you are eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep. Without proper care, your brain is going to focus on how much sleep your body needs or how many meals you have skipped while trying to study.  While especially focusing on enough rest and nutrition during the week of exams, it's also important to make sure you get into good habits way beforehand.

Third, study in the way that's best for you.  Every student's study habits are different...just find the one that's right for YOU.  One way of doing this is going to your professor and seeing what he/she recommends.  Another way to learn what works for you is to find a tutor.  Ferrum offers great programs for tutoring, including PALs.  A PAL is someone who will sit in the library with you and help you study as well as answer any questions you have. There are certain PALs assigned to certain classes, so all you have to do is ask your professor.  Once you have found the study habits that help you the most, find a study group and spend a few hours studying with them.

Finally, never hesitate to ask for help. Whether it's the professor or someone in the class who understands what the professor is going over, there is always someone who can help you.

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