Performing well on exams isn’t just a matter of being smart. It’s a matter of staying prepared and relaxed during finals week. Here are our best tips:
1. Don’t cram the night before your exam. Hopefully you’ve been studying for a while now. If not, you still need to pace yourself. The only thing cramming the night before will accomplish is making you tired. That means it’ll be harder to focus and recall the information come test time.
2. Exercise before you study. Take a jog, ride a bike, or arm wrestle your roommate. The movement will increase blood flow to your brain, which makes it easier to focus.
3. Study in different places. According to the New York Times, just switching study spots each time you study increases data retention. Come up with a routine. Hit the library, the coffee shop, your dorm room, and whatever study lounges you can find. The point here: variety is important.
4. Know your ideal environment. If you study best in a group, find one. If you like your silence, skip the aforementioned coffee shop. Know how your brain works, where you can and can’t focus, and make the extra effort to find conditions you excel under.
5. Stay calm. Stress makes it harder to perform well on your exams, so save time to wind down before taking your test. Watch a movie, pet a dog, do some yoga — whatever it takes!