By Kaitlyn Fowler
Elm Staff Writer
Exams are coming up, and I am freaking out. What’s the best way to prepare for them?
Yes, unfortunately finals week is approaching. With that comes mountains of stress, papers, and exams with questions that you just don’t understand. Be honest with yourself about finals. So many people say they will be fine and before you know it, it’s Reading Day and you see them in full panic mode because they haven’t been studying. Finals are like any other exam, so cramming won’t help you nearly as much as proper studying will. I realize that sounds like a bummer, but a few minutes here and there every day is better than slamming back energy drinks at dawn during finals week.
Another piece of advice would be to break your work into chunks. There is nothing more terrifying in the academic world than that huge pile of things you don’t know. Try breaking it up into smaller, more manageable sections. While you might need to study for longer than 10 seconds, the same basic rule applies. Breaking it apart and focusing on it in smaller sections, it will really help you in the long run.
The last piece of advice, and this will differ for each of you, is find some weird studying trick that works for you. Find something that calms you down or psychologically tricks you into the right state of mind for exams. Many people I know will chew a certain flavor of gum while studying and then, during the exam, they will chew that flavor of gum again. When they taste that flavor, it puts them back in the same headspace they were in while studying and makes it easier for them. I like to listen to classical or instrumental music while I am studying. I noticed a long time ago that people memorize lyrics to songs a lot faster than other things. I realized its because of the music that goes along with it. So when I am studying I listen to some nice instrumental music and then, right before the exam, I listen to it again for a minute or two. Its soothing to have your little Jedi mind tricks to help you out. Whether they make you smarter or not, its hard to say, but they definitely can make you calmer and that is unbelievably important during test taking.
No matter what happens, the most important thing to do is stay calm and focus. When you sit down to take that exam, know that you know this stuff and can do this. If you walk into that exam thinking you are going to fail, then you are just prepping yourself for failure. You should always prepare and hope for the best, whether its an exam, or anything else in your life.