Thriving and Surviving Through Exam Season

Written by: Bethiah Getenet Negussie

Exam season; it feels like one of the least exciting time of the year. And it’s at this time that we start to get a bit frustrated and bitter. Doing almost anything else seems a thousand times more exciting than sitting down to study. Then before you know it you’re down to the last few days before the exam and nothing has been revised. However, there are still some ways we can make exam seasons less painful and more successful!

  • Make a plan: It doesn’t matter if you’re the type of person that starts studying at the last minute or one that starts weeks ahead, it’s good to have a plan. Make a plan and stick with it – do not procrastinate. Take your time to see what parts of the study needs more attention and which parts don’t. Then plan it out accordingly from the time you have now up to the exam date.
  • Take regular breaks: Studying for hours and cramming lots of information at once isn’t good idea, because your brain will experience a burnout. Your brain will need to relax and breathe for a bit before it can function normally again. So, instead take regular breaks. What I know works for me, is to sit and study for an hour straight then take a ten minute break afterwards. This way, I don’t stress out my brain and I am able to retain a lot more information. But I do have to add this, plan your breaks the same way you would plan the study time. Set a fixed amount of break time and stick with it, so that you don’t feel guilty about it later.
  • Notes/Outlines: I find it very useful to take notes while studying; it serves as sort of a reiteration of what I just read. However, it is obvious that people have different ways of learning. So, if you are a more visual type, it will be helpful to incorporate lots of colors and charts/diagrams into your notes. After you’re done with your notes, it truly helps to re-read them out loud to yourself. I know this might sound foolish, but trust me it gets the job done!
  • Reward Yourself: Find little ways to reward yourself! After studying a whole chapter, or whatever your goal is, reward yourself afterwards with something that excites you. Something like watching an episode of your favorite show or having a piece of chocolate. Whatever it might be, just do it because it is going to keep you motivated to continue studying.
  • Sleep: I don’t think much has to be said about this, since this is the most exciting part out of all of them. Just make sure to get enough sleep before the exam day and also during your studying days.

These tips are helpful for surviving and even thriving in the exam season. However, make sure to not lose sight of what is most important, take care of yourself and don’t over stress!