By Isabel Costian
As exam week creeps closer, and 52-page review packets are launched at unprepared students, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It’s hard enough taking unit tests, and now your teachers expect you to remember concepts you learned in August? If this is your first time going through the horrors of high school exam week, or you just need a few reminders, read these tricks to help you relieve your stress and ace your exams.
1) Know the order of your exams. While this sounds obvious, make sure you study accordingly. Don’t study for your 6th period exam first and ignore the rest of them – study in order. Also, make sure to find out if you have any periods without exams and bring study materials for your next exams to those classes.
2) Come up with a detailed study plan. Instead of randomly flipping through raggedy textbooks, messy notes, and countless worksheets, take a few minutes to sit down and figure out what you need to study the most. Spend less time on the concepts that are fresh on your mind and spend more time going over the oldest and most challenging units. Also, organize your notes so that if you ever forget a vocab word, you can easily flip to the correct page.
3) Put the phone down. I know, you’ve gotta keep up your Snapchat streaks. Snap a few pics, lock your phone, and put it down. Put it on Airplane Mode if you’ll jump at every notification. If you can’t trust yourself, give your phone to a family member and tell them to not give it to you until a certain time, no matter how hard you kick and scream. It’ll really help your focus.
4) Make sure you take timed breaks. Even though you should put away your phone while studying, you shouldn’t study for hours on end. It’s important to let your brain rest every once in a while. Eat a snack, watch a quick YouTube video, or take your dog for a walk around the corner. But make sure that you’re conscious of the amount of time you’re spending. You might open Instagram to like a few photos, and then you wander over to your Explore page. Many scrolls later, you look up from your phone and realize that the sun has set, you haven’t eaten, and your plant has died. Just me?
5) Don’t pull an all-nighter. If you don’t go to sleep before taking your exams, you won’t be able to focus on your exams. You’ll be falling asleep while studying and you won’t retain most of the information. Review major topics before you go to bed, but then have a good night’s rest so that you can concentrate on the test the next day.
Good luck on your exams! If you follow this advice, you’ll do better than you thought you could!