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    Junior Adam Rogers follows Andy Yang’s advice by taking a lot of naps throughout studying. Sophie Zetzsche.
  • grace-k-right.jpg
    Senior Grace Kennedy studies in advance for her math exam, according to her study schedule. Sophie Zetzsche.

Sophie’s Declassified Exam Survival Guide

in Editorial/Features by

After Thanksgiving, the country puts away the turkey and heads straight into full on Christmas mode. The lights are out, the trees are up while everyone eagerly awaits Santa’s arrival, but before students middle school to graduate school can get fully into the Christmas cheer, they must get through one very important event before they can join in on the Christmas carols: Exam Week.
This week is the “bane of existence” for most students. However, with a few simple study tips, exam week can go from miserable to enjoyable, so you can enter your Christmas break with high spirits and without sleep deprivation.

1. Organization: The first step to a successful exam week is organization. Getting organized can help make exam week significantly easier. The best way to start getting organized is to “make a study schedule for all of the days leading up to exam week, so you know what to study and when,” said freshman Samantha Jang. After making a schedule, run over to the nearest Target or Walmart and grab some super cute folders to store all your old notes, tests and quizzes in. Keeping all of your materials in one place makes the process easier and more time efficient. Lastly, find some fun colored pens or high lighters and color coordinate your notes for beautiful and organized notes.
2. Study Environment: The second step to that 100% on all your exams is your study environment. Now, the environment really depends on the person. For example, you have your people that are like senior Caroline Burke who become complete recluses during exam week. They lock themselves in their room, turn on the “Deep Focus” playlist on Spotify and grind. They cannot be heard from all week and are unlikely to leave their silent rooms. You also have the Callie Weaver types that get most of their studying done in a “cute “aesthetic” coffee shop,” said Jang, with people chatting all around and coffee racing through their veins. Lastly, you have the people who study best with other people. They can be seen at a house, in a coffee shop or really anywhere. These are the wildcards when it comes to studying, and often times, these study groups lead to newfound friendships. Where you study depends on your preferences, but figuring out which environment you study best in, is a key to success.
3. Eating Right: The third step is to make sure you are eating the right foods to stay focused. With the closing of the Chick Fil A on 141, chicken sandwiches are not an option, but “chocolate is the only thing that gets you through exam week,” said sophomore Mikayla John. When you are hungry, you tend to fall out of focus and your mind goes to the sounds of your stomach growl instead of the 100 multiple choice questions you need to answer. When you wake up, eat a large breakfast to hold you over until the test is over and help you focus. Being hunger can also break your focus when studying, so senior Chloe Hangartner suggests “eating a lot of snacks” to help keep the studying up.
4. Sleep: The fourth step to success is to make sure you are getting enough sleep on the days leading up to your exam and the night before your exam. I am not sure if you have ever fallen asleep with your head in the exam booklet drooling all over the blue book, but it does not seem like a way to get an easy A. The night before an exam you should be getting eight to nine hours of sleep to make sure your mind is well rested. “Also, “start studying earlier rather than later,” said senior and Varsity football kicker Harrison Larner to make sure that you know all of the information and you don’t have to study into the middle of the night. And another tip from senior Amanda Doane is to “never study past 10:00 PM. If you don’t know the information by then, you never will.” Another way to get through exams, if you decide to go to sleep later is to “take a lot of naps throughout the day,” said junior Andy Yang. No matter what the situation, sleep is the most important when it comes to getting ready for an exam.
5. Materials: The 5th tip for a successful exam week is to set out all of your materials the night before. For an exam, all you need is the necessities: two or three pencils, a calculator and maybe a water bottle or snack. “The last thing you need before taking an exam is to be stressed out because you forgot something,” said Larner. So, make sure that you set out all of your materials the night before, so you won’t forget your writing utensils or be late, because you had to drive home to get your calculator.
6. Stay Focused: The last tip for exam week is to “not start any new Netflix series during exam week,” advised Larner. Being successful on exams is made possible by tuning out distractions, and today, Netflix is one of the largest distractions out there. In order to stay successful, try not to log on to Netflix during finals and wasting hours upon hours watching “The Office.”
Exam week is a difficult week for students but following these tips and tricks can make the week slightly less stressful. Make sure you are eating, sleeping and most importantly, studying.

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