7 Tips For Surviving Test Stress

Photo by David Schaffer
Your go-to survival guide for navigating through the stressful midterm season.

No matter how many all-nighters you pull, it always seems like there’s not enough time to study for everything that'll be on the big exam. The test itself is stressful enough, but luckily the days leading up to it don’t have to be. Here's your seven-step guide to survival.

1. Get organized. Write down all your test dates in a planner or post them somewhere on your wall. Keeping track of which tests you have on which days will ensure there are no surprises.

2. Determine your strengths and weaknesses. You may be plagued with more than one test in a week (or even in a day) so divy up your study time wisely. If you’re doing exceptionally well in your English class, you may be able to get away with studying a little less for that exam than for the math class you’re struggling in. Preserve your strength for your weak subjects so you have a better chance of getting decent grades across the board. 

3. Communication is key. If there's a class you’re having a hard time in, let your professor know. Express your concerns about your grade and show them that you really want to do well. Trust, your professors will care more about your success when they see that you do.

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4. Remember to take plenty of breaks. Studying all day is the quickest way to burn your brain out. Try studying for a little while in your room before heading over to the coffee shop for a quick latte break. Then, study a little more there. Call your friends to clear your mind while heading to the library to study some more. Bottom line: study in small sessions, change your scenery and treat yourself. 

5. Don't procrastinate! Waiting until the week before midterms to start studying is never the move. Get it all planned out now. Get acquainted with your professors (they always give hints on what’s going to be on the test) at beginning of the semester. Make yourself a study guide with material as you learn it. And most importantly don't forget to...

6. Rest. All-nighters may work for some people, but rest works for ALL people. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep before big tests and eat healthy food. You’ll be in a much better mood and more focused if you’re well rested and full. 

7. Throw yourself an after party! Everyone works better with incentives. Have something nice planned after the test is over so you have something to look forward to. Whether it’s getting dressed up to go to a fancy dinner with your friends, binge watching your favorite shows or sleeping, do something. You owe it to yourself after scoring big on your test! 

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