How to Survive Exam Week
Fall 2017 is drawing to a close here at Southern, but students are not quite feeling the holiday spirit just yet. There is one last hurdle to get through, and that is FINALS WEEK. The accumulation of a semester’s worth of knowledge will be tested this very week. Midterm and final exams are a part of college students’ lives as French fries and ketchup. See if you are ready for finals with our list of dos and don’ts below!
- Don’t skip on the sleep.—Less sleep doesn’t equate more study time. Your body is a machine that needs to be reset every so often. David Earnest, PhD, a professor who studies circadian rhythms (our 24-hour body clocks), states that “your brain loses efficiency with each hour of sleep deprivation." The information you studied so hard for will only be kept in your short-term memory, meaning you will just as unprepared come exam time. Take the time to sleep early and wake up early.
- Do eat your veggies and drink your water.—The world-renowned Harvard Health Publishing says it best with: “Research suggests that what we eat might have an impact on our ability to remember and our likelihood of developing dementia as we age.” Treat your brain as the delicate organ it is; give it the best treatment you can, especially around exam time.
- Don’t hole yourself in your room.—You might be tempted to do a study marathon (that can lead to an all-nighter) in your room once you’ve gotten comfortable. Resist it! Whether you like it or not, your living space has distractions and leaving it once in a while can jump-start you back to focus. Take breaks: exercise for 30 minutes, take a cold shower, give your grandparents a call. Vegetating doesn’t mean in a couch in front of your TV only; it can be on your desk in front of your textbooks.
- Do set up time for study groups and alone time.—Classmates make for some great accountability partners, not to mention they can help you with segments you need clarifications on. At the same time, don’t spend all your study time with them. You need some quiet alone time to look over the materials distraction free. Learn to schedule ahead time to fit both types of review.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to study.—You are cheating yourself out of valuable time if you procrastinate. Short-term memory can get overloaded and fail. Plan, plan, plan! Once again, pulling an all-nighter is not the same as spending quality time with your notes when your brain is awake and active.
- Do pray.—God is not your personal genie that grants you the exam answers, especially if you’ve been slacking off all semester. BUT you should ask Him for courage and focus as you face your finals. Take five minutes to do your devotion. God is here for you. He did not abandon Adam and Eve when they ate the forbidden fruit, and He will for sure not leave you as you face your exams.
It is comforting to know that everyone around you is facing exams just like you are. You are not alone. Practice the dos and avoid the don’ts from the list above. See if it makes a difference in your life. Blessings as you face your exams!
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