Exam Tips

Before you start on any project, including preparation for an exam, it is important to be mentally and physically prepared. As early as a week before the exam, be sure to

* Get enough sleep. Remember that old saying about eight to ten hours of sleep a night? Being well rested is perhaps the most important, and unfortunately most overlooked, aspect of health when trying to stay focused and retain information.

* Eat healthy. Most of the time in our busy schedules, we forget to take time out for our most obvious needs. If you are not eating well, you cannot possibly expect yourself to perform well in school, or anything else. Make sure you are eating right.

* Get enough exercise. This doesn't mean joining a gym or starting a rigorous program, but make sure you keep your energy levels high during the day. This, by the way, depends on a well balanced diet, and can prevent insomnia!

These are really lifelong habits that you should employ to help you throughout the semester. Still, they are especially important before a stressful activity, like a major exam. However, it is equally important to be mentally prepared for this great task ahead.

Before you even begin to study or take an exam, consider these questions:

  • Is pressure from home interfering with my work?
  • Do I feel consumed with a problem with a friend or significant other?
  • Am I feeling overly stressed?
  • Is this exam really worth stressing about?
  • Is a recent event in my life causing my emotions to conflict with my schoolwork?
  • Is my living and working conditions causing me to waste time that could be spent better?

If any of these conditions apply, that does not mean you are unfit for studying, but if outside influences are interfering, then take the time to resolve these issues. If you are taking a test, try to clear your mind of all stress. Tell yourself that however pressing these matters seem, they can wait two hours while you take this test. Keep these ideas in your mind as you work through the task. Keep a positive attitude, and you WILL succeed:

  • I AM ready for this exam!
  • I AM capable of doing my best, and that is what is important.
  • I WILL succeed.
  • This exam may seem difficult now, but I WILL be ready when I take it.
  • I DESERVE to do the very best I can.

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