McIntosh Trail

Finals Week Survival Guide

It’s almost December; holiday time and time off of school, but before students can enjoy a festive semester break, they must endure exams.

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Finals Week Survival Guide

Freshman and sophomore accelerated geometry students stress over exams.

Freshman and sophomore accelerated geometry students stress over exams.

Dani Davis

Freshman and sophomore accelerated geometry students stress over exams.

Dani Davis

Dani Davis

Freshman and sophomore accelerated geometry students stress over exams.

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“I just want Christmas to be here already,” said senior Courtney Collins.

It has come to that tragic point in the semester that all students dread: exam time. While this time of year is notorious for long intolerable cram sessions, there are a few steps and provisions students can take to make these last few weeks bearable. There are three simple steps to surviving exam week.

Step one: do not procrastinate. Procrastination only leads to further stress. According to a study in the Psychological Bulletin by Piers Steel, a professor at the University of Calgary, 26 percent of people were chronic procrastinators in 2007. Based on this statistic it’s safe to say that procrastination isn’t a new or uncommon factor of academic life. However, although relatively common, procrastination still generally has negative effects on students stress levels.

“My stress leads to procrastination which makes me stress even more,” said senior Christopher Nastasi.

On the contrary, procrastination works for some.

Some feel even as though it helps them perform better on their tests and quizzes to cram the night before, however, studies show that with large quantities of information, cramming the night before may not be the best method.”

Step two: meditate or relax. Everyone has heard the phrase “take a few seconds and take a deep breath” when they have been stressed out during testing. This simple measure helps stress or frustration not interfere with one’s studying or testing. Taking a break during study sessions has been shown to improve attention span and focus. According to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,  the average person’s attention span is their chronological age plus one. This is just one reason why taking a break, even if just for a few seconds, can improve study quality and test results.

Finally step three: make it fun. One way to make studying for exams pleasant would be to make it into a game. There are several online studying sites, such as Qquizlet, that allow studying material to be made into flash cards, matching games, and other games. The saying “time flies when you’re having fun” may have some truth when it comes reviewing for big tests. Some students even find it fun to see how much material they have learned in class over the span of a year.

“Exam week makes me excited because I get to see how much I’ve learned all semester,” said senior Harrison Soles.

All in all, exam week doesn’t have to be a dreadful, agonizing time for students. Many teachers wish they could skip exams altogether, however, that delightful sounding alternative is simply not feasible.

“I have to write a final exam and I am not excited about it,” said math teacher Aaron Rafter.  

Following these three simple steps can be an easy way to make studying and testing tolerable or even fun.

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About the Contributor
Dani Davis, Staff writer

Dani Davis is a 17- year-old senior at McIntosh. She is anxiously awaiting to turn 18 and embark on the new adventure that is college (hopefully at Kennesaw...

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Finals Week Survival Guide