How To Survive Exam Week

How To Survive Exam Week

Walking into Ovation on Wednesday, I had a lot on my mind. I was only half listening to the announcements at the beginning, and at the same time dreading the ICS paper I had to finish by next period and the math test I needed to study for.

These thoughts were still swarming in my head as our guest speaker, Catherine Luckner, an expert on stress management, began talking to us about stress and how it affects our performance on exams.

When Ms. Luckner asked us, “How many of you would rather be somewhere else right now?” I was surprised, and of course my answer, along with almost everyone else’s, was of course I would.

I would rather be at home catching up on sleep or studying for the very exams we were talking about. However, it was then that I understood the point she was trying to make:  the stress that comes with exam week ultimately ends up hurting us.

Exams are tests that all students dread. They are our last hurtle to jump before we get to Christmas Break, and we all can’t wait to get them over with.

Students put pressure on themselves for these tests because they have expectations to fill or they believe that grades determine self-worth. However, although Ms. Luckner does agree that exams are important, she was brought to campus to show us that they are not worth excessive amounts of stress.

“A little anxiety,” she says, “is ok, because it creates motivation. However, too much stress can be detrimental to one’s health and performance on an exam.”

When students gets nervous for exams, they tend to freeze up and cannot recall the information they studied. This is why, when going into exams, just try to relax. If you are prepared, you will preform well.

A second very important point Ms. Luckner made was about academic integrity, and how it can be compromised when a student is under so much pressure. If students find themselves in positions where they are not sure whether to compromise this integrity, Ms. Luckner’s advice is to seek out an adult on campus and work through the situation.

Ms. Lloyd, ODA’s Director of Academic Service, has a few more tips she would like to share the week leading up to exams.

  1. Map out a study strategy and stick to it. Don’t procrastinate!
  2. Tackle the hardest exam first, because this will most likely take the most time to study for.
  3. Time management is the key to success.
  4. Communicate with your teachers now, and attend your review sessions. Don’t wait until the last minute to ask questions!
  5. Be careful with study groups; while they can generate success, they can also be distracting and cause added stress.
  6. When you get into the exam, look through the whole test before you start. Do what you know first!

The best thing you can do for yourself during exam week is to not get stressed out, and not to let one test cause overwhelming anxiety.

Good luck in exam week!