What I Wish I Knew About Exam Week Four Years Ago
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What I Wish I Knew About Exam Week Four Years Ago

Keep calm and find the coffee machines.

What I Wish I Knew About Exam Week Four Years Ago
Dominica State College

Exams can be a really tough time in the semester, especially if you live far away from home and don't get to see your family a lot. And, during exam week (or weeks), your schedule can change drastically as well. I know I had about a thousand more meetings and events to go to towards the end of the year that weren't in my normal routine which added to my stress. Here's what I would tell myself four years ago about exam week in college.

First off, it is okay to take breaks. No, you aren't being a bad student if you take a nap or watch a movie or go out for lunch instead of powering through it. Exams and studying are super stressful, and having five of them in roughly five days takes its toll. Don't feel guilty for setting aside some time for yourself to relax and take care of your mentality. That doesn't mean go on a five hour Netflix binge, but maybe a cup of tea and an episode of Doctor Who would be just fine!

Know that in some classes, especially upper level courses, you will not be able to make an A on the exam. You may not even make a B, but if you study and apply effort during the year, you will be okay. Not getting a perfect score on a final exam does not necessarily mean your grade is going to tank. If you have tried the rest of the year, you will probably be alright.

Sleep! No, really. Don't blow off your sleep because you 'really need to study.' Yes, you do need to study, but you must also get your sleep or you will turn into a coffee-devouring, irritable fact monster if you forgo resting, trust me. I have been that monster. Which brings me to my next piece of advice. . .

Don't cram. I happen to know that I study harder when I'm pressured, but I still study chunks of the material at least a week in advance of the test. Cram harder at the end if you must, but don't start the night before. And, if your spread your studying out into manageable bits, you can get the sleep and brain detox time that you need.

Go to the professor for help and questions if any of the material is still unclear. They may not like that you are just now asking about that one thing from chapter two that never made sense, but they will see that you are trying now, and they will help you. They want you to succeed and learn from their class, so they won't turn you away if you are genuinely asking for test preparation help. It can seem scary to go to the professor and ask questions, but you and your test grade will thank you later.

Note that different things work for different people, and that your study habits might not be the same as your roommates. Tensions are high for everyone, and you and all your peers are in this together, so take breaks, sleep it off, ask questions, start early, go easy on yourself and walk out of that exam room head held high after you rock it!

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