Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Minimize Stress During Exam Season

Exam season is upon us and like many, I've been dreading this time of year for quite some time. It's sort of been lingering in the back of my mind, so it's hard to believe it's actually here. This will be my first time taking AP exams and I'm interested to see how everything will play out #prayersappreciated. Standardized tests have never been my strong suit and I really have to study a lot in order to do well, especially for AP exams since scores count towards potential college credit. Being the type a girl that I am, exam season is typically a whirlwind of stress and lack of sleep. Year after year, I've kind of figured out what's worked best for me to stay sane during such times of stress, so I've put together a guide of a few things that will maybe help you too. 

(image via)

+ have healthy snacks
Snacking has come to be one of my survival tools for studying. Especially during exams, when you're draining your brain and grinding out studies, it's so important to replenish yourself with energizing snacks. Usually, if I'm in need of a little something to hold me over till dinner, I'll opt for almonds, fruit, or a granola bar. It's hard to concentrate let alone retain information on a empty stomach, so be sure to stock up on healthier options that will keep you full and focussed. 

+ create an uplifting playlist
If I'm feeling overwhelmed and need a mental break, nothing beats listening to a stellar playlist of songs to boost my mood. Happy, upbeat tunes really make a difference and help motivate me to crunch through my studies. I know I'm a little late in the game, but I'm currently obsessed with Hozier. I find his music to be so calming and empowering that I'm immediately in a better mood after listening to him! 

+ take breaks
You've probably heard this before, but I find it so beneficial to divvy up my studies. I could never sit for hours straight on one topic and crank out everything I need to know. It's best to take a few minute in between subjects to gather your thoughts, grab a snack, and maybe even listen to some music. I feel I'm more alert in doing so and I retain information so much better without having to go back and review. 

+ turn off your phone
My phone is easily my biggest distraction when I study because I find myself subconsciously on it either checking the latest on social media or responding to texts. I think we can all admit we find ourselves on phones in order avoid our tasks on hand and it's so easy to drop 30 minutes of viable studying time (guilty :). To stay on track, turn off your phone or keep it in other room. You won't feel inclined to check it in seeing notifications time and time again. I feel so much more focused not having it at my side and wanting to check it every other minute. 

+ find a study buddy 
When it comes to monster tests like APs, finding a friend or classmate you can effectively study with is so helpful. If your stuck on a topic, more than likely they can help explain it and vise versa, giving you the ability to review what you know. It's also nice to have someone that can relate to the current struggle and keep you motivated. You won't feel as overwhelmed studying for a cumulative exam with a friend at your side and studying becomes fun when you incorporate different ways to quiz each other. 

I hope these tips help and you are able to incorporate them into studying routine! How do you survive exam season? I am all ears for any tips for minimizing stress?

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