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Tips and tricks for exam season

It’s that time of the year again—exams are just around the corner! Many of us may be tempted to pull all-nighters, drink countless cups of coffee, binge watch Netflix and leave studying to the last minute. I am sure that this is not the first time you’ve heard this, but—those are ineffective ways to prepare for your final exams!

Instead of falling back on those habits, try having a look at some wonderful resources provided by the university. An online list mentions strategies, such as prepare early, don’t bother cramming, eat well, sleep well, and manage your time.

I cannot stress how important it is to break your studying up into manageable chunks and setting aside quality time to study. When you set aside time to study, avoid distractions, which means put your phone away so that you’re not tempted to check Facebook or Snapchat. All that social media can wait!

Most of us are guilty of procrastinating. This is your worst enemy when it comes to preparing for exams. There are countless benefits to actually preparing early for your exams. You can carefully review the course material and if there is something that you don’t understand it gives you more time to ask the professor for clarifications.

If you study well in a group, try booking a study room on campus at the Killam Library or the Wallace McCain Learning Commons and initiate a group studying session.         It is also critical to practice self-care during the exam period.

Self-care includes eating healthy, balanced meals, getting enough sleep and exercising. You may ask, where can I get some healthy, pesticide-free food? Well, the DSU Farmer’s Market located at the lobby of the SUB is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10:00am until 3:00pm—this is a great place to pick up fresh fruit and veggies.

It can be difficult to schedule in time to go to the gym or take a yoga class in the middle of a hectic exam period. Exercise can be as simple as going for a twenty-minute walk or jog, which is great for stress relief and it improves your memory. Sleep is also so important to rest and rejuvenate your body, try to aim for around eight hours of sleep per night. Every one of us has a specific requirement for sleep and only you know what works the best for you.

Finally, remember to hydrate, drink plenty of water and try to avoid too many energy drinks and coffee. Though caffeine gives you an initial boost of energy, it will not give you sufficient energy for a prolonged period of time. It is also important to schedule in time to do things you enjoy to help you deal with the stress, take your dog for a walk or go for a quick coffee (or just have water) with a friend.

Exam season is a very stressful time. By preparing for your exams and practicing self-care you can alleviate stress and succeed. It is essential to go into your exams being fully prepared and well rested. I cannot reiterate this enough, DON’T CRAM, it doesn’t work; a myriad of studies attest that cramming is not an efficient way to study for a test. By implementing effective strategies to study for your exams, it will increase your chances of getting that A. Good luck on your exams, remember keep calm and exam on!


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