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End is in sight

Gazette student columnist shares her exam survival strategy

Student Life | Student View

By Hayley Whelan

It’s almost over!

We’ve made it to the final stretch of 2020 and the last exams of the semester. It’s amazing how resilient we’ve been and how we have persevered despite the added difficulty of online learning.

I’m sure you’re all as exhausted and ready for the holidays as I am, so I’d like to share my exam week wisdom with you.

Do what you can right now

Hopefully, you’ve had time to start studying by now, but if you haven’t, don’t stress.

There is no use in worrying over whether or not you should have started reviewing your notes a week ago. The best thing you can do is to focus on the present and what you can do right now to prepare yourself for your exams.

If you’re having a tough time getting into the groove of studying routinely, I have a few suggestions on how to make it slightly less painful.

Get cozy

First, make sure you’re comfortable. Studying is easiest when you are warm, relaxed, and content.

“Studying is nothing more than a refresher on topics you’ve already covered.”

Bundle yourself up in blankets, sit in your comfiest chair, get yourself a hot cocoa and put on some festive music for background noise.

Try not to make studying a chore. If you learn to associate studying with comfort, it will make sitting in front of your notes and textbooks feel less strenuous.

Learn to walk away

Next, make sure you take breaks. No matter how comfortable you try to make yourself, you’re bound to get frustrated and feel fatigued at some point.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the middle of solving a chemistry problem, or re-watching a lecture, walk away from it and give yourself time and space to breathe.

I’ve made this mistake before, and if you keep pushing, you’ll end up feeling irritated and unmotivated. Make sure you take as many breaks as you feel that you need.

It’s been a long semester, so don’t push yourself too hard.

Trust yourself

Have some faith in yourself and trust that you have been working hard all semester. Studying is nothing more than a refresher on topics you’ve already covered.

Make sure to keep it simple and don’t agonize over every little point the professor has ever brought up.

“Remind yourself of how hard you’ve worked this semester.”

Often, I spend too much time studying concepts that aren’t even going to be on the exam.

It has taken a lot of practice to realize what is worth reviewing.

Make the exam process easy

This semester, most of us have all of our exams online.

While online learning has been a challenge, I would argue that online exams are a huge benefit of the chaos we’ve endured.

With online exams, you don’t have to worry about forgetting your calculator, or sitting in an unfamiliar room full of students shuffling papers and sniffling occasionally.

You have the benefit of doing the exam from home base, where you’re comfortable and confident.

Just like studying, completing your exam doesn’t have to be a tedious process. Get in that same, comfortable environment you used to review your notes.

Remind yourself of how hard you’ve worked this semester and don’t stress about your grades before you’ve even finished the exam.

Pace yourself and make sure you have enough time to get through it all.

Most importantly, remember that as soon as your exam is over, you are that much closer to the holidays.

Just one more week and we can all finally relax and get a good night’s sleep.

Good luck, students!


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