One of the most exhausting and stress inducing trials humanity has ever had to face is college exam week. Luckily, no student must face that trial alone or unprepared. Bob Jones University students share their best tips for not just surviving, but conquering exams.
The best thing to do is to start early, as soon as you can before exams begin. To avoid feeling too rushed or stressed during exam week, Cathryn Gallione, a graduate biblical counseling major, starts studying a week before exams begin. “Don’t waste the weekend before exams,” Gallione said. “Just know your schedule and use the time you have.”
Being a strategic studier is important. Cramming before an exam only adds more stress to the already stressful situation, especially if more than one exam falls on the same day.
Blocking her time is how Laura DePace, a junior health sciences major, tackles her exams. Studying an hour or two every day keeps her from feeling overwhelmed and makes the pressure to cram the night before the exam much less intense.
Whether the exam is a Grademaster or an essay test, there are a variety of tools available for students to use to help them study. Study guides and groups, class notes and Quizlet flashcards are all great and easily accessed tools.
DePace seeks out upperclassmen who have taken the class she is studying for and asks them if they have study guides from previous years they could loan her. She rewrites the guides by hand as she studies.
Rewriting guides and notes by hand are effective ways to memorize information, while reviewing quizzes and working through practice questions are easy ways students can test themselves to see if they know any formulas they may need to know.
Sophomore accounting major Spencer Robinson takes his questions directly to his professors. Talking with the people giving the exam about what will be on the exam is the best way to know what to prepare for. “Ask your professors directly how they’re going to ask [questions on the test],” Robinson said. “They will be quite open with you and willing to help you.”
Students struggling with exams can also find help at the Academic Resource Center. The Academic Resource Center coaches can help students with things like time management, organization and note-taking.
But no matter how students choose to study, it is also important for students to take care of themselves. Exam week is stressful, and it is easy to burn out after spending so many hours bent over a textbook or staring at a computer screen.
Spending some time with friends, going for a jog, stretching, taking a quick nap or getting a well-deserved coffee are all ways students can get up and away from their textbooks and laptops. When studying becomes too exhausting, DePace grabs one of her favorite Starbucks drinks to cheer herself up.
Delicious snacks and drinks keep Robinson going through exam week, his favorites being Sparkling Ice water and Dr Pepper. Having a cold drink and a healthy snack the morning of the exam helps Robinson stay awake and focused.
However students choose to prepare for exam week, the biggest motivator for surviving exams is just the simple thought of being done with them. Once exams are over, they’re over.
“Once you’re done with that class, you’re just like, ‘Wow, I never have to take that class again; I’m finished,’” DePace said. “You feel accomplished.”