It’s that time of the year again: the dreaded midterm season is upon us and we are all putting in late nights and sacrificing our sleep to study for our exams. Here is a list of 5 things to avoid before an exam to ensure that all your hard work does not go to waste!
1. Drinking Caffeinated Products the Night Before
You might think that the caffeine will help you stay up later so you can study just a little bit longer. However, the effects of caffeine remain in your system for up to 12 hours making it harder for you to fall asleep the night before an exam. The excess caffeine also makes you jittery and increases anxiety. So, if you desperately need the caffeine, try to limit it to a small amount.
Last minute cramming and studying is almost always a bad idea. You are a lot less likely to retain information, especially if you are cramming the night before an exam. The best way to avoid this is to start preparing for an exam well in advance and properly managing your time.
3. Intense Workouts
Yes, exercise is good for you; however, an intense, vigorous workout right before an exam will do more harm than good. The last thing you want to experience during an exam is soreness and discomfort from the previous night’s workout. Try instead to choose a lighter workout such as a light jog or maybe some yoga.
4. Pulling an All-Nighter
This goes hand-in-hand with not cramming before an exam. Your body needs sufficient sleep to be able to properly function the next day. There have been times where I have gone into an exam with only 2 hours of sleep and have completely blanked out during the exam even though I was well prepared. Staying up late to get that extra little bit of studying is NOT worth it. Go to sleep and allow your brain and subconscious to process the information you have been studying in order to increase retention during the exam.
5. Panic, Stress, Anxiety
If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed during an exam do not panic or stress. Take a few deep breaths, take a sip of water, do whatever you need to do in order to calm down. Remember, stressing and panicking will only make it harder for you to recall the information that you have learned, so take a breather instead of trying to work through the stress. At the end of the day, just keep in mind that one exam score does NOT define who you are and it is not worth sacrificing your mental health over.