Last Updated: Dec 21, 2017
It’s coming, and high school students know it. There is no avoiding the fact that finals are upon us. With finals comes stressing and studying, nerves and anxiety, and the dreaded fear of failure. Chances are that is exactly how you feel right now. However, you are not alone. I know how it feels, and many students would agree!
Although you can’t avoid taking your finals, you can be in control of how you feel. Scientifically speaking, minimizing frenzied feelings and high stress levels will only help you. When experiencing stress, the brain releases cortisol, which clouds your judgment, a necessary ability when it comes to test taking. As often as we hear it and as much as we hate doing it: you have to study!
Studying can be overwhelming for most students. It becomes even more overwhelming if you don’t know how to study. Not everyone studies effectively following the same method, which is why it’s important to learn how you study best. This might mean having classical music playing in the background. Or pop. Or maybe you prefer to sit in silence. Find a sound and a location that works for you. Personally, I do my best studying when I’m alone in my room. It’s just my thoughts, my notes, and me. However, that might not work for you. Maybe Starbucks, the local library, or the recliner in your living room might be your best study spot. The more you study effectively, the less nervous you’re going to be and the better you’ll most likely do.
Also familiarize yourself with the information you’ve learned from the beginning of the year. Refresh your memory. Go over the difficult material until you have a better handle on it. No matter what you do to study or how you study, makes sure it works for you and will contribute to your success on exams.
Related: So You Think You Can Study?
In addition to studying, you have to sleep! Taking a final exam when you’re half asleep isn’t the best way to go. Your top performance will be achieved not only when you’ve studied well but after you’ve slept just as well too. If this means going to bed earlier than usual, then do it. In the end, it will be worth it when you’re sighing from contentment upon looking at your score rather than looking down with disappointment.
Next: relax. Just seeing the word relax makes me relax a bit, at least until I start thinking about all the stuff I have to do. As a high school senior, I know it’s easier said than done. Yet it can be done. Studying and sleeping are both important, but so is relaxing. Make time to do something you love to do, something that will you help you destress and unwind in between study sessions.
Obsessing about your finals, dreading them, or hating on them ultimately won’t do anything to change that fact that you still have to take them. It’s a part of being a high school student. However, a combination of studying, sleeping, and relaxing will do something! It’ll help you score the best you possibly can, which is what you want to do for each and every exam you take this finals season.