MINIMIZE STRESS & MAXIMIZE LEARNING DURING EXAM TIME
- Meditate – An important practice to help slow down the mind, and increase mental clarity.
- Get your body moving – Dance, workout at the gym, practice yoga, or go for a run. By moving your body, you are increasing the blood flow to your brain and melting away stress from your mind and body.
- Practice healthy eating – Try avoiding foods with large amounts of sugar, eat a breakfast that is high in protein, eat green veggies at lunch and dinner, and drink mint tea throughout the day instead of coffee.
- Stay hydrated – Avoid drinks with lots of sugar and caffeine and instead drink a lot of fresh water. For increased energy and hydration try coconut water, available at health food stores and some grocery stores.
- Get out in nature and enjoy fresh air – Get yourself outside and spend some time in nature. Being in nature is a simple and effective way of decreasing stress and increasing your focus which will help you when you return to the books.
- Take more consistent breaks – Take a 10 to 15 minute break every 60 minutes; the human brain can only take 60 minutes straight of studying before it decreases its ability to absorb new information effectively.
- Practice good sleep hygiene – Get a good night’s sleep every night, ideally 7 to 8 hours per night. Keep your bedroom cool and dark and make your bedroom primarily for sleeping, as opposed to studying – if possible.
- Avoid cramming – Last minute cram sessions can create a sense of nervousness and panic which leads to more stress and can cause you to forget what you studied. Try approaching each exam with a fresh and clear mind.
- Study to learn, not for high marks – Avoid focusing on the end result, and what grade you need to get on the exam while you are studying. Education is about learning; if you put your focus on the experience of learning, then the pressure to achieve a certain result diminishes. As pressure diminishes, productivity increases.
- Avoid Distractions – Turn off cell phones, try to limit surfing the web while you are studying (unless needed for what you are studying) and avoid any other distractions that may shift your focus from what you are studying.
- Focus on one thing at a time – Keep your mind focused on what you are studying in that moment, avoid multi-tasking or studying multiple subjects at the same time.
- Create a study plan – Map out what subject you will study on which day and for how long. Don’t worry if you don’t follow the plan, the plan is created so you can feel in control of your studying.
- Stay positive and confident– Watch inspiring videos, listen to uplifting music, and practice positive affirmations daily.
- Listen to relaxing music – Listening to relaxing music (ie. Classical or New Age) while you are studying can help calm your nerves and increase your focus.
- Remember to Laugh and Lighten Up – Exams are not life-threatening, yet we treat them like they are. See the lighter side of life, do the best that you can, and remember to LAUGH your way through the whole process! The sillier you get, the less tension you will feel.
Good Luck & Happy Studying.