Let’s face it. You don’t like final exams more than I do. SAT, Baccalaureate, HAVO, VWO, call them as you want. They all put a lot of pressure on us, and in the end, after struggling to get a reasonable grade, if not even a top grade, they leave us exhausted.
Not only do they isolate us from our friends and families but they also take up most of our free time, which inevitably leads to stress and anxiety. In other words, they set harming obstacles for us that we need to overcome to keep our mental health on point.
But the question is…
Is it realistic to stay happy and positive when the amount of work is threatening to take us down? Can we expect to get excellent grades without losing sleep, friends, and time for ourselves? Or is that just wishful thinking?
Sure, it’s nice to think about being the one with the highest grades on the University enrollment lists while still being able to take care of your hobbies and relationships. But when the exams knock on the door, we can’t help but wonder if it’s just that: a false reality.
I used to think it was. And after analyzing and questioning my habits during the final exams in high school, I realized something. If I work really hard, everything is possible. And if you’re like me, you are facing the same exams challenges right now. Here’s how to conquer them and taste the victory for yourself.
The secret ways to kill your intimidating workload
And I say secret because they are study hacks that not many students have heard about. At eFaqt, we talk a lot about them because we know how much they helped us for our exams.
For years, we’ve been told to study smart instead of hard. But we believe that you will get even better results if you mix these two types of studying together. And now you must be wondering, what does working smart mean?
It is what it sounds like. Working smart means getting the work done faster without compromising the quality of the final result. And it all starts with being organized. For instance, instead of having just one checklist, creating two will keep you motivated. On one list you write the tasks that need to be accomplished and on the other the tasks that you have already finished.
You can either find your methods of studying smart or you can follow the habits of other successful students.
The recommended way of acing your exams (and why it doesn’t work)
I still have colleagues and friends who do this all the time. Back when I was studying for my exams, they always used all-nighters as an efficient way of getting the highest grades. Except they didn’t get them. Sure, they weren’t low either. But considering the amount of work they did, and the few hours of sleep they had, their grades should have been better than everybody else’s.
Nevertheless, I tried this myself when they recommended it to me. I had a Geography exam, and I thought I could hustle hard to get everything done by the next morning. The result? It was an absolute disaster. My brain was foggy, and I could barely keep my eyes open while attempting to answer the questions.
And in fact, there is research based on this strategy. Apparently, students at St. Laurens University, who never pulled an all-nighter, had an average GPA of 3.1, while those who usually practiced this way of studying had only averaged 2.9.
How to keep your mind and body rejuvenated during study sessions
When we’re studying, we often forget about taking care of ourselves, which can diminish our well-being and concentration significantly. However, keeping our minds and bodies healthy does not take as much time as you might think.
Not because staying healthy does not require hard work, but because we can use some hacks here as well. For instance:
- Sitting is the new smoking: sitting for too long can damage your health considerably, many studies have shown. To avoid sitting at your desk for hours, have a bottle of water by your side, and drink as much as often. The urge to go to the bathroom frequently will force you to get up and revive your muscles.
- It doesn’t matter when you go to sleep: some people are night owls while others are morning persons. You don’t have to go to bed at 10 PM and wake up at 6 AM just because everybody does so. Find you own studying time, but make sure that you get enough sleep, which is about 7-8 hours per night.
- Keep 30 minutes to yourself: no matter how busy your day is, always make sure that you spend at least half an hour practicing your hobbies. It’s not just your body that needs to be taken care of, but also your mind.
How to dedicate time to friends without ignoring your duties
Spending time with friends and family is, for most of us, a guilty pleasure when we have tons of things to do. But if we think about it, it’s not that hard to do it without neglecting our heavy workloads.
Either we learn how to master our time or we find other hacks.
And if you want a hack, here’s one: study together. You’ll finish faster, and you’ll get a chance to spend time with that person afterward. But you still have to manage your time correctly. And this means being able to prioritize and knowing when to say no.
The Key to Suppressing the Feeling of Constantly Being Unprepared
It doesn’t matter how well you’ve prepared for this exam. The thought that you might not be good enough is still going to linger there for a while.
When we work on something important that matters to us, we never feel entirely ready. Moreover, when we do our best to study certain subjects, we often feel like we forgot everything. But when we see ourselves in front of the blank paper, the ideas start flowing out of the blue.
So just accept that you’ve been studying enough, and see what happens.
The final exams are getting closer and closer every day. And as frightening as they may seem, we can find a lot of methods to study without feeling stressed out.
Work hard and smart, and take care of your body and mind to achieve the best possible results.
Are you ready to conquer your final exams? In eFaqt you can find free summaries from other students, or you can create and practice your own summaries. Study faster, remember more, and connect with your study mates! Don’t have an eFaqt account yet? Create a new account in one minute!