It won’t be long until finals week, and if your grades are borderline, you’re probably ready to pull out you hair. “Frankie Goes to Hollywood” sang it best with the song “Relax.” Stress can cloud your thinking and bring on test anxiety.
Read these tips on how to relax, reduce stress and maximize the quality of your study time:
Cramming is a no-no: We’ve all done it. It’s no surprise that a busy college schedule caused you to cram several chapters of information into your brain within hours before the test. But if you want to avoid stress, don’t wait until the last minute. Study about an hour a night for three nights. If you know it’s going to be a comprehensive final, try studying an hour and a half each night. If you cram for a test, you will likely feel like you don’t truly know the material, which can bring on test anxiety, but if you study several nights in a row you will feel confident about your final.
Study breaks are a must-have: Take a ten-minute break for each hour of studying. Get a glass of water, take a brisk walk or watch something funny on T.V. It’s important that you find something that will help you relax. Less stress means that you will be able to better focus on the next round of studying.
Sleep is a necessity: Sleep deprivation can cloud your thinking and may leave you unfocused for the test. Be sure to get at least seven hours of sleep the night before. Some people have a hard time winding down after studying. Stop studying an hour before you plan to go to bed. In addition, don’t drink
caffeine within six hours before bedtime.
Eat smart: There are plenty of foods that will help reduce stress. A bowl full of oatmeal is proven to release serotonin, a brain-calming chemical. Fatty fishes, like tuna, and foods high in vitamin C, like oranges, are proven to block the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Stay away from junk foods and caffeinated drinks; these are proven to aggravate stress.
Doing well on a test is all about feeling confident in what you know. If you study hard and stay positive, you will earn those much-desired A’s and B’s.