Tips on Avoiding Stress Before Finals

By Gabriel Williams, Staff Writer

StressRelief
Students studying and preparing for finals. Photo by Armstrong.

Finals week will begin next week and for some students it means three simple words: stress, stress and more stress. During finals week, last minute studying and cramming of information is a common practice. The unintended side effect of all the cramming is often a poor performance on final exams.

During the semester, professors already administered tests as part of the course, but the fear of the final exam, which is weighted a considerably portion of students’ overall grade, can cause students to feel overwhelmed. Jasmine Edwards, sophomore economics major, stated, “I always get very nervous about finals week and sometimes I freak out at first and then pass the exam in the end.”

Below are some tips you might find helpful in combating stress when studying for finals.

TIP #1: Read a Book

Reading a good book can set your mind off school work and put you in a comfortable, peaceful place. Read something of interest to you. In fact, studies have shown that reading a book not only increases knowledge about the world, but also helps the individual in feeling great afterwards. It is important to maintain a positive and healthy attitude before finals to avoid being downed and depressed before test day.

TIP #2: Have some recreation time outside

While you are studying, take lots of breaks in between. Explore your backyard, take a walk around the neighborhood or take a stroll through campus. Doing so can stimulate physical activity within your body which can be very helpful especially when sitting down while studying.  If you study for long periods of time without breaks, you may feel exhausted and this can lead to less time retaining information studied.

TIP #3: Study with a friend

If you can, grab a friend and be study partners. Practice studying notes together and take turns making flash cards. Come up with creative ideas like using gestures to remember notes. By doing this, you are enabling the retention of information.

TIP #4: Find a quiet place to study

While this is often hard for most college students to do, studying in a distraction free and quiet environment will greatly affect your memory of notes. Go to places like the Lane Library where you can study in a convenient setting.

TIP #5: Ask your professor questions

It is important to ask questions about anything that is unclear to you. Have some one-on-one time with your professor during office hours to get unanswered questions answered. They are there to help you in the best way possible.

TIP #6: Get enough rest for Test Day

After studying for countless hours, it is important that you get enough rest prior to test day. It is recommended that you get between 7-8 hours of sleep daily to allow the body to get ready for the next day and maintain the information you studied. Eat a good breakfast and drink plenty of water before taking the test.

Although finals can be a nuisance to college students, it only lasts a couple of hours. All the countless hours of studying information will be worth it in the end. Michael Crowns, senior mathematics major, stated “If you study hard enough and stay positive during the process, it can be a breeze.”

After working hard for finals, remember to reward yourself. Treat yourself out to a cup of cold and refreshing ice cream or a good movie that’s out to alleviate post test stress after a long exam.

As the exuberant and relaxing days of summer quickly approach, many students are excited about the long break and want to enjoy every single moment before the fall semester begins. However, it is imperative students finish the semester off strong and utilize all resources made available to them to successfully pass their classes.

Always trust and believe in yourself. As Walt Disney once said, “All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”