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Beating Final Exams Stress

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How to survive finals!These days it seems literally impossible to meet a college student who is stress-free. Every semester finals come, and every semester everyone acts like it's a huge surprise. But really, why? Nine times out of 10, we all know that the projects we have due have been due at this exact date since...well, the beginning of the semester. However, the very fact that we are college students leads to the inevitable procrastination and trying to memorize four month's worth of material in five hours.

Check out these tips to help you survive finals:

1. Stay Away from Stressful People: Stress is contagious. Resist the urge to have a study session with your super-tense friend. Definitely avoid them if they are constantly complaining about all the work to do and breaking pencils all over the place. Your workload is bad enough, you don't need to add others' stress to it also.

2. Avoid All-Nighters: Some students swear by this method; however, most serious students avoid it like the plague. A study published in the January issue of Behavioral Sleep Medicine found that students who typically pulled all-nighters tended to have lower GPAs than those who didn't. Ideally we should all begin preparing for our exams long before finals week. Make sure you have all of the notes that you need, and then create a study schedule that you can handle during finals week.

3. Schedule in Sleep: Go ahead, call it a night and sleep. Some people are able to function pretty well on just three hours of sleep a night. Most of us, however, cannot. You'll do much better during exams if your mental state is good. Not sleeping enough can weaken your immune system, subsequently increasing the chance of you getting sick during finals.

4. Prioritize: One massive marathon of studying for five different classes will only make you red-alert anxious. Instead, aim for two weeks of studying for, say, 30 minutes to an hour a day. That way, you gradually build the knowledge into your brain. However, if you've only got 12 hours until the exam, do not try to cram in four months of information in 12 hours. Your mental well being will thank you. Instead, look over notes from class and try to go over the main concepts.

5. Put Down the Caffeine: Caffeine may give your energy level a jolt, but that is usually accompanied by a later crash that leaves you feeling utterly drained. Studies have also shown that students who consumed energy drinks may also experience headaches or even heart palpitations. Check out this article about the dangers of energy drinks.

6. Form Effective Study Groups: There are only two kinds of study groups possible: very, very good ones, or very, very bad ones. The biggest flaw in these study groups is the lack of studying that occurs. If you do magically manage to study, avoid at all costs the "group think" syndrome. Take for example:
Zainab: Why did the US colonies want freedom? From who?
Ali: No idea.
Lena: No clue.
Jawad: Well, like, wasn't the war with North Korea in like, 1775? So that's why the US and North Korea don't get along anymore?
Ali: I think he's right.
Lena: I do too.

Basically, when no one knows the answer, it allows for a very wrong answer to present itself. Pick a group with some credentials and get studying!

Author of this article: Huda Jawad
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