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What to do before, during & after your exams to succeed


I am stressed! And with one month of school left and final exams just around the corner I think I have good reason.

The last month of school is always the most overwhelming. Teachers are trying to teach everything they forgot to during the year and then there are finals to worry about. Finals stress me out and I know I’m not the only one.

Luckily, I’ve had my fair share of exams so I’ve learned a few ways to minimize the stress*, study effectively, and get the best marks I can.

Before the Exam

Use apps to your advantage. I’m on my phone all the time anyway so I might as well use it productively. Apps like 30/30 or iStudiez help you keep track of all the different things you need to be doing and help you manage your time. It’s really overwhelming to sit at your desk and start reading all your notes on everything for hours at a time. These kind of apps help you get around that.

I get distracted easily. If I have my phone with me then I’m checking Instagram within 5 minutes after I sit down to “study” so I use apps like SelfControl that block social media or gaming apps for set amounts of time so that I can’t get distracted. These are just some of my personal favourites, but there are hundreds of studying apps out there and they all have different purposes, but they all help make studying much more efficient.

While apps are great at helping manage time, when it comes to actually remembering the information, it’s hard to beat a pen and paper.

It sounds old fashioned, but writing out your notes is one of the best way to study. Get out coloured markers and highlighters and make really nice note sheets or flashcards. Write the notes so that anybody could understand them. It helps you get organized and writing out all of your notes for a second time makes you remember them better.

Another great way to remember facts is to make acronyms or rhymes to remember them. When I was little I learned how to spell “because” from the saying Bears Eat Candy Apples Under Sad Elephants.  I still think of that acronym every time I spell “because.” It’s often the weird acronyms and rhymes that don’t even make sense that stick in your head and can help you remember things that you’ll need for the test.

During the Exam

The most important thing while writing the exam is to be confident – confident that you know everything you need to know.  Always go with your gut on questions. More often than not the first answer you think is correct usually is. I have been burned so many times by changing an answer at the last minute just to find out that my first answer was right. Don’t let that happen to you! Trust your instincts on all the questions.

Make sure you answer all the questions on a test. Even if you don’t know the answer you at least have a chance of getting it right if you answer the question than if you leave it blank.

Come prepared for anything.

Bring some extra pencils. Have some water or some lemonade with you to drink during the test. Bring in a snack if you’re allowed. Do anything that you can to be calm while you are writing the test. Or at least as calm as you can be while writing a final exam!

After the Test

Take a deep breath because it’s over. I always stress after a test because I feel I could have checked it over one more time or done something more. After a test I just try to remember that I did the best I could. I knew my stuff and was prepared. But the best thing to do after a test is treat yourself. Reward all that hard work with a cupcake or some ice cream because you deserve it.  Good job!

*If you’re feeling stressed and just want to talk to someone, ConnecTeen is here for you by phone, chat, text and email.

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