• Sarah Folkins

Sara’s Declassified School Survival Guide: Exams


It is almost that time of year again. The time of year where hallways get a little quieter, the library gets a little busier and students get a little sadder. That’s right – exam season: the worst time of year. I have gotten requests to do give advice on exams as some students are wondering how they can best get through this exam season. The following three tips will help you survive exams.

#1. Stay healthy

It is important to stay healthy at any time but it is especially important during exam season when you are expected to perform at your best. Winter exams can be risky when it comes to good health as the cold weather sets in and germs spread. To prevent getting sick, follow all the rules you’ve been taught since primary: wash your hands, cover your mouth when you sneeze and avoid other sick people. As well, it is important to maintain proper sleep habits. This not only helps prevent illness but a good night’s sleep helps you retain information and feel awake and ready for the next day. During exam season when every day is prime study time or test time, it is essential to get a good 8-10 hours of sleep to be ready for whatever the next day may bring.

#2. Organized studying

Having three to five exams in the same week can seem overwhelming. However, if you organize your time properly, it isn’t as bad as it seems. I always start with looking what my first exams are and what my toughest exams will be. As a rule, I always try to start studying one week in advance and study an hour a night on each subject. As it gets closer to my first exam, I focus more time on that one and spend less time on exams farther away. It is also important to consider what exams you need to study the most for and allow enough time to fully prepare for those. I always try to hit at least two subjects a night.

#3. Study Groups

Study groups can be very helpful to compare notes, verify answers and share information. However, you have to be careful in participating in noisy or unproductive groups. This mistake can waste two to five hours of good studying time. When I go to the Killam during exam season, where it seems most of my friends and classmates go, I sit by myself. This is because I feel I can cover the most information and be most productive on my own. I still figure out where friends or classmates are sitting, as this way I can still connect to compare answers or notes. As well, friends are great for a study break, which is necessary for optimal studying.

I hope these tips will help you feel more prepared and less worried for upcoming exams. Study hard and good luck my friends.