Twelve Tips for Exam Success


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With exams around the corner and the academic year coming to a close it’s around this time that students start to feel burnt out. To get through the end the year off strong CU Be Better has come up with 12 wellness tips:

  1. Stay hydrated. Limit your consumption of sugary and caffeinated beverages – instead, reach for water! Staying properly hydrated improves alertness, cognitive performance and boosts mood!
  2. Prioritize your sleep. Sleep is essential to learning, especially recall and memory consolidation. Studies show that no matter how much you study, you will not perform at your best if you are not properly rested. Aim for a minimum of 8 hours a night and don’t be afraid to take a power nap if you need it. A 20 minute nap can increase motor function, learning and alertness.
  3. Make a schedule or find a routine. During exam season, sometimes it’s hard to keep track of time or days without your typical schedule. To help maintain some normalcy and avoid cramming, create a schedule for yourself to follow.
  4. Get outside! Fresh air helps to increase serotonin to produce feelings of relaxation and improved mood helping to manage stress and anxiety. Additionally, vitamin D helps to produce natural “feel good” chemicals.
  5. Physical activity. Aerobic anxiety increases oxygen supplies to the brain to produce endorphins that improve mood and help to better manage stress.
  6. Make sure you’re fueling your body and your brain! Proper nutrition is key to optimal brain function, mental health and physical health. Tip: Keep healthy snacks prepared and on hand! By having snacks around your while you study it’ll help save your wallet and prevent burn out. If you’re nervous about skipping meals, schedule them into your study plan to ensure you’re making eating a priority! Talk with Dietitians from Dining Services for free if you need consultation, or participate in “Ask a Dietician” online.
  7. Make use of your resources. We are very fortunate to have a whole host of resources available to students from TAs to PASS to CSAS to health and counselling! Make sure you continue to make use of them throughout exam season.
  8. Wash your hands and take measures to avoid illness and getting warn down. Unfortunately, exam season sometimes becomes flu season. Make sure you’re taking care of your body and keeping yourself healthy!
  9. Switch up you study locations. A change of environment helps support productivity and limit distractions.
  10. Use your prescriptions accordingly and do not use your friends’ or anyone else’s medication.
  11. Prioritize. Start by identifying the areas that require the most work or effort and start there. Consider the things that are causing you’re the most stress, your timeline for due dates and exams, and what is causing you the most stress. Apps like “Flora Habit Tracker” where your phone grows trees the longer you put down your phone and stay productive. For more ideas, check out this blog on Psychology Today by Carleton’s own Professor Timothy Pychyl.
  12. Believe in yourself. Practice gratitude, and remember the things that you are good at. It is scientifically proven that people who believe in their abilities achieve more than those who do not!

Good luck! We are wishing you the best this exam season!

For more information about our exciting new project, CU Be Better, be sure to check out our new Instagram and Twitter accounts!

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