By Nick Rocha – It is that time of year already! The stiff backs, the all-nighters, the delivered pizza to your apartment.
Finals are usually a hassle and a stressful time for many students. Making sure to keep your mind, your spirit, and your physical self in check is crucial for doing well on your exams and here are some tips that you can adopt during your exam week to help with memory retention and stress.
- Do not cram your studying! Make sure that you are not waiting until the last minute to prepare for your exams. Prioritize your classes, gauge which exams might be more difficult than others, and make sure that you give yourself mental breaks every hour or so. Breaks in your studying sessions helps with the “absorption” of the material and allows you to come back to studying with a fresh mind.
- Change up your study location! Staying in the library all the time to study may be suitable because it is quiet, but make sure that you are not becoming drained from your environment. Changing up your study location makes you move around, which increases blood flow and reduces fatigue. Just make sure to find another place that is also quiet or suitable for you to study.
- Reduce the distractions! If you need to, change your Facebook password and give it to a trusted friend for exam week. Listening to music, watching television, texting or using the phone while you are studying might impact your memory retention of the material; classmates can be a good resource for studying as long as they continue to talk about the study materials.
- Engage in some light cardio activity during exam week! Studies have explored the connection between a moderate cardio activity and memory retention; make sure that you set time of your busy studying schedule for a 20 minute walk or jog. Exercise has some tremendous benefits for your body and mind and it can also “unlock” some of the stress muscles experience during exam week.
- Eat right! Having pizza every single night because of exam week may not be the best approach. Make sure that you include a heavy dose of fruits and vegetables into your diet at least a week prior to exam week. Having the proper vitamins and nutrients helps with memory retention, and avoiding sugary drinks will prevent crashes that might impact exam performance.
Exam week is a stressful time for many students, but think about how far you have come and think about the feeling of accomplishment when you are finished. In order to do the best on those exams, it is important that you are in your best state; keep organized, keep calm, and know that all that stress is temporary. Hopefully some of these tips will be helpful, and I wish you the best on your upcoming exams!