How To Handle Exam Week

We all either have been there or will be someday. That week in college where all of your exams seem to align the same week. “Exam week” is different from “finals week” because during finals week the university cancels all extracurricular activities. During exam week, everything is still in full swing and can make things ten times as busy. This past week, as a sophomore, I had one of the busiest weeks of my college career thus far. I had two tests, a speech, fourteen pomping hours due, Big Little reveal week and all of my normal homework and readings for my other classes on top of that. Needless to say, I thought I was going to die (okay that may be an exaggeration but bear with me). But with some advice I have learned through my freshman year from some seasoned upper class men, I survived.

1. Prioritize

Figuring out where you priorities are is the first step to handling a busy week. You can prioritize based on due dates, importance of an assignment/test based on the points it is worth, or any number of ways. But making a to do list is something that helped me extraordinary amounts. Also, be sure to put this list somewhere you will see it or it won’t help you much. I put mine beside the mouse pad on my laptop so every time I opened my computer I saw what I needed to accomplish next.

2. Start early

 Planning ahead and getting ahead of a busy week before it hits you like a truck is very helpful. If there is anything you can do before you week starts, do it. I wish I had gotten all of my Big/Little crafts done before the reveal at the end of the week but I put it off and it ended up biting me in the butt and my littles got crafts with the paint still wet. Also if I had finished my pomping hours before my week started I wouldn’t have been there 8.5 hours Friday night struggling to get them done. Starting early doesn’t just go for standard stuff like homework and crafting. Start studying early too. Studies show that studying small amounts for a long period of time leading up to your test will get you a higher score than cramming the night before. I was definitely not as prepared as I should have been for my tests, and ended up getting lower scores on my exams than I was okay with getting. So start preparing early to decrease your stress and increase your grades.

3. Eat healthy

I know as a college student eating healthy can be difficult. Living off of potato chips and coffee is something we are pretty accustomed to since we are on budgets and always on the go. But if there was ever a week to eat healthy, it’s exam week. During this time, students are stressed out, studying, and doing a lot of things at once. Treat your body right and give it the nutrients it needs. This will help you keep your energy up so you can make several trips to the library in one day, and help you retain what you’re studying and mentally be on top of what you are doing 100% (and hopefully help you get a 100% as well).


4. Sleep

This goes along with staying healthy. Don’t simply rely on energy drinks and coffee to get you through. Be sure you are getting eight-to-nine hours of sleep per night during this time or at least the nights before your tests. I know this sounds unattainable but it will have so many benefits throughout your week. If you are tired, you won’t absorb what you are studying and you won’t be as mentally present during your tests. You will be better prepared to take your tests and study after a good nights sleep.

5. Keep a good outlook

This is actually probably one of the most important pieces if advice in this post. Keeping a positive outlook on your life is key to going through a stressful week like exam week. If you let your stress get the best of you, you likely won’t perform as well on your tests and it isn’t healthy. Keep your head up and you will feel more confident going into your exams and not get overwhelmed with your stress. Go pet a puppy or splurge on an expensive coffee drink or buy some ice cream. Something that will keep you calm and stress free. Just remain positive.

Keep your head up, tests have to end sometime!


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