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Oct 1st 2014

How To Cope With Exam Stress

 It’s getting close to that time of the year for college students. The dreaded midterm exam season is right around the corner. For many students, it is hard to cope with the stress of exams. The thought of not being able to control the situation you’re in is the most stressful part of taking the exam. But you can control the outcome of your exam. Check out these tips to coping with the exam bug.

Develop a Strategy

In order to prepare yourself for any exam, you have to have a plan. Organizational skills are definitely a plus. It’s not easy going into something big without initially strategizing around it. 

● Be sure to gather your books, papers, notes, study guides, and anything else pertaining to your upcoming exam. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and stay later. Just remember not to take it overboard. Get the information you need on the exam. If some notes are required, don’t add them. It’s just extra information to cram into your brain. Be sure to focus directly on what’s on the exam.

● Also, be sure to manage your time wisely. This is especially true for the week of the exam. You don’t have to spend every waking minute studying and taking practice tests. You need to take breaks in between time just to get away from the stress of studying. 

● Most importantly, get some sleep. Sleep is very important. Remember the famous Benjamin Franklin saying, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” How will you be able to do anything without a good night’s sleep? Just imagine all of that studying wasted when you are nodding off during your exam or even worse, missing the exam all together. Don’t be the guy or girl on exam day that finally cracks from the stress of losing sleep over studying and bursts out crying during the middle of testing. That’s just weird.

Find Your Fortress of Solitude

Let’s think back to the old Superman movies for a moment. Remember when Superman would literally have the weight of the world on his shoulders. He needed a place to go to think so he found the Fortress of Solitude. It’s like the Batcave and every other secret comic book hideout. Find your Fortress of Solitude so you can study at your best. It can be your dorm room, parent’s house, study hall, or even the park. When you’re somewhere comfortable, you are not worried about anything else. This makes studying easier since your focus and attention is pointed in the right direction. Remember, you have the ability to take control over your situation. It starts with making yourself comfortable.

Eat and Drink Healthy

● When eating healthy, this is tried-and-true for all college students especially before taking a big exam. Have you ever heard of the term “brain food”? Eating foods such as chicken, fish, eggs, vegetables, whole-wheat bread, and pretty much anything worth a look on the food pyramid will give you more energy. Be sure to stay away from the sugary stuff. You’re probably thinking cereal gives you energy. It actually makes you crash faster plus it’s unhealthy. That’s what we call a double negative. 

● When it comes to drinking, you should also drink plenty of water in order to stay hydrated. More hydration means less sweating which equals to even less stress. Diet soft drinks are fine. It will keep you more alert. You should try to avoid drinking juices and sugar-filled drinks since it might make your more nervous than energetic. For all you frat guys — avoid alcohol. It’s common sense not to drink before, during, or after taking your exam. It causes more stress than you think.

Stay Focused

Most importantly, don’t forget what you came here to do. Ask yourself these questions:

● Why are you in college? 

● What are you trying to obtain?

● Is all of this worth it?

You have got to stay focused on the task at hand and know that it’s going to be a long hull. Don’t treat it like it’s a race. It’s not a race. So jog or walk to the finish line. If you aren’t a senior then will you be in the same place this time next year that you are in today. If you are a senior, a year from now you will be wishing you were still in college. Be sure to take it all in stride and feel grateful for even being in this situation. Many people aren’t so lucky. Most importantly — just chill.

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