The College Girl's Guide To Surviving End-Of-Year Exams

As terrible as typing these words is, it has to be said: end-of-the-year exams are coming up. I know, I know, it's possibly the worst thing to think about or even utter under our breaths, but it is (unfortunately) time to at least think about how freaked out we're going to be. But maybe it doesn't have to be a major meltdown this time around right? By following these few simple steps (and maybe actually studying), you're going to get through exams like a fucking pro.

1. First Of All, Breathe.


I mean, obviously you're breathing, but relax. Chill out. Every semester you probably begin to freak out when exams are coming up, but don't. Just take a breath and start preparing. You've got this.

2. Plan Plan Plan.



Ok, now that you've taken a moment to actually breathe, it's time to plan. Plan out what you need to go over, what'll take more time, and what you can focus less on. What classes are your weakness? Leave extra time aside for them. Make a timetable for yourself if you need a definitive plan to follow. Sorted.

3. Get Organised.


Get supplies like notecards, highlighters, the whole nine yards. Be prepared for studying in the most effective way that will help you the most. If that means putting sticky tabs in your books or highlighting every other detail, then so be it. Get the supplies you need to have a stellar study sesh.


4. Be Positive.


If you go into exams and studying for them thinking you're going to fail, then duh, you will. You've gotta stay positive and tell yourself that yes, you can ace that maths final, and yes, you will be fab at studying. And afterwards, you can go get very, very drunk.

5. Don't Procrastinate.



The worst thing you can do when you're meant to be studying is procrastinate. If Netflix is your weakness, cancel your subscription for the month. If it's random sites, download a website blocker that will keep you on track. Procrastination is the biggest killer of any productivity, and of all times, now is the worst to waste time.

6. Anxiety Is Contagious.


Don't get anxious and don't spend time with anyone who is anxious. Anxiety truly is contagious, meaning that their anxiety will rub off onto you, and no one needs that. If you know someone is an anxious person during exam time, stay away (just for that time).


7. Reward Yourself.


All work and no play and all that, yeah? Well, it's true. If you're putting in the serious effort, treat yo' self! But don't over indulge in rewards. Give yourself a little snack break here and there, or head out for some fresh air. But that trashy magazine or that hot chocolate that you like. Little treats actually do help.



8. Take Breaks.


Similar to rewarding yourself, you need to take breaks. You'll burn yourself out if you keep working too hard for too long, so make sure to schedule in a little R&R time here and there. You'll come back to the page with a fresh head, ready to study again. Just make sure the "break" aren't 5 hours lads.

9. Don't Get Caught Up On One Bad Grade/Exam.



Okay, so you come out of your first exam and think that you've totally bombed it. Let yourself be upset for a moment, then move on. I know it's a lot easier said than done, but you can't let that one exam determine how the rest of them will go. Just keep your head up and focus on the next to come.

10. Eat Smart.


It's so easy to just pick here and there at crisps and chips and whatever other cheap, easy, and quick food you can get your hands on, but don't do it. Instead, stock up before study time on healthier snacks, like fruits and veggies. That way, you'll be more energized and able to study longer (but do get some pizza for those treat yo' self moments!).


11. Colour Code.


If you're a visual learner, colour coding will be your new best friend. You can use it for different subjects and associate certain types of information with certain colours. So, if you think that something is definitely going to be on a test, highlight it in green. That'll trigger your brain to remember that it's vital information.

12. Use Your Hands.



Shtap you, don't be letting your mind go somewhere dirty on that one. It's actually a trick I picked up from someone who was a really strange learner (bear with me here): if you do a repetitive motion with your hand (say, tapping two fingers together) while you're trying to memorise some bit of information, when you go into the test and repeat the motion, you'll be likely to remember the info. Make sure it doesn't look too much like you're giving answers to someone else, though, don't want to give them the wrong idea.

13. Actually Get Some Kip.


Everyone's been known to have that all night cram sesh right before a test, but honestly is it ever worth it? Yeah, you might think you're learning more or cramming enough in, but your brain is too tired to actually process the information well enough to spit it back out during an exam. If you actually hold a regular sleep schedule during exam time, you're much more likely to do well on the exams.



Video: How To Prepare For College Final Exams

Credit: The Josh Speaks


Ally Kutz
Article written by
American student interning in Ireland for the semester. Lover of dogs and bad puns.

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