misc 2009 2010 072Final exams can be stressful, but here are some tips that can help make exam season go smoothly:

  1. Get started now! Anxiety builds as you worry and do nothing. It may feel very difficult to get started, but you will feel immediate relief.
  2. Begin reviewing now. You need not wait until teachers hand out review guides. Get out your old tests and quizzes and begin reworking them. (Don’t merely reread the questions and answers; you need to cover up your old answers and actually rework /rewrite each question on paper).
  3. Do an overview. Use your notes and/or textbook to write a list of the topics you’ll need to know for each exam. Making this outline will give you a feeling of control and a realistic sense of the task ahead.
  4. Tackle the easy stuff first. Brush up on the material you know pretty well and then cross it off your list. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and progress, which will lift your spirits.
  5. Let parents do some of the pushing. During stressful times, structure and support from other people can be invaluable. Parents can help by firmly yet kindly making sure that studying is happening every day, by clearing the family calendar of as many non-academic events as possible, and by sometimes just sitting down and quietly keeping students company. It’s very reassuring to know that the people who love us have “got our backs” and are trying in big and small ways to help us succeed.

[photo of sailboat reconstructed inside Provincetown Library, Cape Cod, MA]