HOW TO DEFEAT EXAMS

With exams right around the corner, we’ve compiled the most effective ways to stay on top of the anxiety that comes with it. Exams can be intimidating, but they aren’t impossible. Staff Writer Amiya Zissler | Staff Writer Abigail Brooks | Staff Writer Olivia Freidinger


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Exams are like the monster underneath your bed. Maybe if you close your eyes, pull the blanket over your face, and think happy thoughts, you’ll be able to ignore the rumbling of the evil underneath you that is close enough to sink its claws in and drag you into the abyss.

Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. However, exams can definitely be terrifying, and we can definitely be in denial about them most of the time. It seems like the anxiety before the exam is astronomically harder to deal with than the actual exam. Sure, answering more than a hundred questions in an hour and half might be a little challenging, but taking the leap to actually crack open that study guide is a trial within itself.

With a few collective years under our belts of dealing with the monstrosity that is high school exam season, we’ve put together the studying tips that have proven to be most successful and beneficial for us, and hopefully for you too.

  1. Create an environment within your studying area that allows for you to remain focused, free of disturbance, and comfortable. You won’t be able to properly obtain any of the information if you’re worried about something else or if half of your attention is on a TV show. Eliminate distractions and sink yourself into the world of review, until it is time to resurface and enter back into the real world.
  2. Try to ‘teach’ the material to a friend, or pretend you’re teaching the lesson to a class. Psychology says that when you have to explain something to another individual, it’s extremely beneficial for you as well because you determine what is important and what isn’t, as well as finding ways to make the material easier for them to understand. You create new ways to interpret the information by teaching it in a new way than what was taught to you.
  3. Chunk the material in ways that is easiest for you to remember. Don’t try to cram four and half months of information into your brain without any rhyme or reason. Make connections between what the topics are and something else that you already know, and go about grouping the information that way. If you’re able to associate one piece of information with a greater topic and continue to expand on this, on the day of the test you’ll be able to think of that umbrella term and your brain will remember the material you associated with it.
  4. After a certain point of studying, come to the understanding that you are a human being. There will be what we consider, “The High School Peak Exam Peak of Knowledge” that essentially means you have reached a point in which you have crammed as much information as possible about the subject into your brain, and it will do you no good to try to fit anything else in there. Find a zen mode that tells you that you will be fine on the test and find a sense of confidence and trust in the exam gods that you have enough material under your belt.  

  Some other useful tips include: listening to music that you might be able to

 remember during the test to recall information, forming a study group with    

 friends, looking up practice tests online, focusing on one test and one topic at a

 time, taking breaks to eliminate frustration, and listening to Ted Talks to inspire motivation with friends life.

After following all of these steps, you will likely need to take a well-needed rest. Preferably for a long sleep free of nightmares about forgetting everything and failing. You’ll wake up, eat a breakfast for champs, dress to impress (or wear sweatpants because who are you trying to impress on exam day anyway), and show that test what you’re made of! With these steps, there’s no need to be scared of that monster underneath your bed. Take the covers off, get down on your knees, and tell it:  No, postulates, theorems, and molecular structures aren’t fun at all. But I feel confident that I know them. And I don’t need to be afraid anymore.

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HOW TO DEFEAT EXAMS