Exam week ensues

Valuable techniques for making it through your stressful exam week.


Illustration by: Ashton Jhoda

As a fellow peer, my advice is entirely up to your interpretation. With my personal experience, I serve as a mere guide through the exam week and into winter break.

From middle to high school, exam week is seemingly always the final hurdle before being able to enjoy a two week break transitioning into the new year. Those students who may have neglected their grades, me not at all excluded from this, scramble to turn in their final missing assignments in hopes that their teacher won’t take off too many points.

With finals approaching, the endless nights of cramming class material into memory are inevitable. The days of chugging Red Bull and trying to catch up on weeks of procrastination are approaching, and we must prepare for the siege we face.

One thing we must keep in mind as adolescents facing substantial assessments is sleep. Not only is sleep key to our thought process during exams, but inadequate sleep can have detrimental effects on test performance. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine identifies at least eight hours to be the optimal amount of sleep for adolescents and describes lack of sleep as a cause for irritability and inattentiveness in daily interactions- which is not the attitude we want during exam week.

Thwart the addictive Tik-Toks and shows in advance for exam week and your body and mind may thank you for it, showing their appreciation in due time. While completely avoiding social media may be impossible for some, setting limits on how long you use them can be a considerable help.

Whether it slowly rolls through like molasses or flies by, exam week is inevitable. We can not alter the time that has past, only prepare for the time to come. (Ohio University Commons)

A trait we must latch onto throughout exam week is self awareness. Preparation for exams includes being able to gauge the difficulty of our tests and our skill in each subject. If you haven’t given enough attention to one class, it would be ideal to have a more thorough review of that subject.

Be realistic with yourselves. From personal experience, it may feel like you are going into some tests completely blind. However, if you analyze your material, focusing on the points you know you can get and studying accordingly, a pleasant surprise may follow.

Another practice that rightfully deserves a special place in exam week is commiserating with your friends. Challenges become more daunting when faced alone, but ironically sharing similar pain with others can help make light of a dreaded situation.

Mihir Thorat, senior at Wiregrass, aims for the light at the end of the tunnel as he describes his emotions post-exams.

“Relief,” Thorat explained. “Waves of relief followed by indifference.”

Despite whatever our perspective of exams may be, midterms will not make or break your future. Exams can never define your status or brilliance, something that teenagers may overstretch in their minds.

Avoid inflating your anxiety. Although studying may help a great deal, we cannot dwell on material that we have procrastinated too much on. By no means am I implying to give in to the pressure of exams and stop trying entirely, but rather I am imploring you to seek personal growth.

Whether you are an excellent test taker or you find yourself completely helpless when choosing between four incomprehensible options, aim for more than what you think you can get. Take in as much material you can. Host study groups with friends. Take care of yourself approaching the exam. When you walk out of that final exam, bask in the confidence that you did great. Hurdle through those tests and enjoy your winter break. You deserve it.