Final exams are around the corner and exam stress can make things feel like a whirlwind at the moment. Take a deep breath and allow yourself to relax.
Stress is nothing more than a state of mind which is triggered due to the following reasons:
- Low Self-Confidence
- No Solid Action Plan
- Lack of Support/Help
- Past “Not So Good” Experience
- Weak Emotional Resilience
All these factors start to add up for students during their final exam week or even month. But don’t worry, the TutorEye team has the right set of solutions and recommendations for you to leave all the exam stress behind and take your final exams with a smile.
In this blog, we will discuss each of the 5 elements in detail and offer ways to handle them effectively. So get ready to follow these simple tips to best deal with stress and sail through the finals with good grades.
Boost your Self-Confidence
One of the best ways to boost your confidence is to be self-aware. This includes knowing your strengths and weaknesses very well. So you can start by writing all these on a piece of paper and stick it on your study table or an area like a mirror that you will see multiple times a day.
This will act as a constant reminder to you and will help you stay focused on your strengths and start addressing the weaknesses slowly and steadily.
Another critical aspect of self-awareness is knowing your learning style. You probably already have a sense of which way that you learn the best or are aware of a learning way that’s most effective and suited for you but if you don’t know your learning style then keep reading this point and you should be able to relate one or two or the styles that work the best for you. This will help identify the fastest and the most effective way for you to remember things and even retain that knowledge for a longer time.
According to science, there are 4 types of learning styles, or what we call VARK (Visual, Auditory, Read/Write, and Kinesthetic) learning styles. To prepare for final exams it’s best to employ this scientific technique.
Identify where you fall under the spectrum of VARK learning. If you are
-Visual learner (65% of us are visual learners), it’s best you make use of
- Graphs and charts
- Grasp information via video tutorial
- Use flashcards
- Highlight, underline, or color code important notes and reference material
-Auditory learners comprising 30% of the population, should
- Read or recite information out loud
- Employ word association to remember date and facts
- Listen to recorded lectures
- Group discussion to actively participate and exchange ideas
-For the Read/Write learners, it’s best to
- Make notes and refer to them
- Keep notes and handouts ready
- Read books and go through your readings
- Rewrite the information in your own words
-Kinesthetic learners or the antsy lot, make up 5% of the population and it’s best if they
- Follow Pomodoro technique of studying for 25 minutes followed by short breaks
- Create physical models of learning
- Take lab classes
- Try to create a physical active connection while learning a concept
- Bounce a ball against the wall, walk around or chew gum while reviewing the course concepts
Once you know your learning style, now you are ready for the next stage of dealing with stress which means time to make an action plan.
Make An Action Plan Based on Exam Schedule
Start by going over the curriculum of each subject and mapping the number of days available to prepare. Yes, going through the syllabus can give you a bird’s-eye view of what needs to be covered. If your exam is on Monday and you think you’ll start hitting the books on Sunday, you’ll end up more stressed.
A far better idea is to count up from the day the exam date sheet is shared and start preparing early. “Math on Thursday?- Three or four days needed” – this way by checking the curriculum and planning ahead you’ll have it much easier and remember to keep some buffer time for concepts that you might take longer to master before your exam day.
Going through the syllabus is an old assessment technique as it gives you a fair idea to analyze the portions that you need to spend some time on
Do not make the rookie mistake of concentrating on the subject you’re good at or the one that you find easy. You need to maintain a balanced approach which means give yourself enough time to focus on topics that you find tough.
Also, it’s not a rule anywhere that you need to spend the same amount of time studying for each of your subjects. Not all subjects are created equal- some are tough while others are easy.
Now, this is the time when you can start to look for expert help on subjects and topics where you have the most material to master and need to pay attention.
By attending a few personalized online tutoring sessions based on your learning style, you’ll breeze through exams. At TutorEye, we have subject matter experts available 24/7 to help you understand, grasp and master basic to advanced level topics. Our online 1:1 session is customized to your needs. Try a demo session, if you want to get a feel of the whole online learning experience at TutorEye.
Build a strong support system
After you get clarity on the concepts & difficult topics then you are ready to progress to the next factor which is building a support system.
In simple words, you need a virtual study group where you can collaborate with your peers and make study notes to review tricky concepts. Make sure it is a fair exchange where you help each other out and stay away from freeloaders.
All in all, a study group can be a mutually rewarding experience where you can enrich each other’s understanding and enjoy a sense of camaraderie as you sail the same boat- preparing for final exams.
Forget about the “Not So Good” experience from the past
Our magical brain stores all the good and bad memories and we start to build associations from the past and make predictions about the future based on those memories stored.
But if one has worked towards identifying the reasons for those good or bad experiences then it is easy to disassociate the outcome of future events from the past.
We start to expect newer outcomes based on the action plan and changes made from last time to this time and hence stress management becomes easy.
In case you had a bad experience taking final exams last year and have worked on the three factors discussed then the chance of the outcome changing this year is very high.
But we recommend that you leverage all the time available at hand before the exam day to exhaust every resource to amp your preparation. From devouring the books to taking mock exams and even resorting to last-minute online tutoring from experts can help you deal with exam stress.
Whether it’s whiteboard learning or assignment help services, you need all study resources at your disposal to help you understand the topics best.
To make the process easier why not plunk yourself down at your desk and solve previous year’s question papers by setting a timer. Now take a deep breath and evaluate your paper and analyze each mistake. This will make taking exams a whole lot easier.
Strengthen Your Emotional Resilience
Remember, we started off by saying that stress is nothing more than a state of mind caused by a set of factors. Therefore, it is quite possible that you feel stressed even after completing all of the above four steps because emotions are not in control.
So, it is important to control your emotions, and here are a few simple ways:
- For those who believe affirmations and visualization techniques are cheesy, it’s time to reconsider. Most of the time you know more than you think you do! Find a quote that pumps you up, leave little post-its to motivate yourself, and do mini-meditation to prevent the stress from building up.
- Create mind-maps and boost your confidence by saying whatever motivates you.
- Last but not least, take proper rest and avoid all coffee diets, and don’t pull all-nighters to prepare for exams.
Taking final exams can create stress and anxiety for many as grade point averages are important & our success is measured based on those scores. So all these external factors can lead to stressful situations before final exams.
But if there is will then there is a way!
So gear up to face exams with a fresh outlook and give yourself something to look forward to after the exams are over.
In the words of Mark Twain, one of the greatest American writers, “Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.” Make sure you turn your studies into “play” and have fun with the course.
As for the finals, we know you’ve got this. It’s time you realize it too.