It’s hard to believe that this term is already coming to an end as our students prepare to take exams and travel home for the holidays. Where has the time gone?
On the New York campus, the students in the psychology department created projects to help their fellow students prepare for exam week. In an interactive fair designed by the psychology students, members of the school community were invited to participate in activities and learn some effective tools for studying. These students explored topics like beating stress, managing time, enhancing memory and improving note-taking skills, and shared their findings to help everyone on campus have an all-around better experience during exam week.
During a time that can be especially stressful and hectic, it is helpful to have some tips in your back pocket for how to beat the pressure of exams. Check out these student-approved study tips:
- Try aromatherapy with essential oils. If you’re having a difficult time recalling your course content, try introducing scents to your exam revision process. Studies have shown that scents like peppermint and rosemary increase concentration and memory. If you need to relax and reduce your stress, try smelling lavender and jasmine.
- Know your brain orientation. Are you left- or right-brain oriented? Knowing which side of your brain is dominant can help you adapt your study skills to make the most of your revision time. If you are right-brained, you are likely more creative and intuitive. To be a more effective studier, try mapping out your notes using images or talking out your ideas with a friend. If you are left-brained, you are probably a logical-thinker, processing and organizing information systematically. When you’re studying, it might help to set clear goals for your revision process and organize your notes using colors or charts.
- Move around! Feeling especially stressed? Get up and move! Take a break from studying and do something active for a few minutes. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins – chemicals in the brain – that help to decrease tension and improve your sleep. Even a 5-minute walk and some deep breaths of fresh air can make a difference!
- Catch some Zs. Getting enough rest is just as essential as reviewing your course material. While many students choose to stay up all night and study, research has shown that your memory and ability to recall concepts improve when you get an adequate amount of sleep.
- Eat clean! The kinds of food you eat while revising and taking exams can have a positive impact on your effectiveness, if you pick the right things to munch on. Studies have shown that blueberries have chemicals and compounds that help to stimulate memory and brain power – and they are a great source of natural sugar and antioxidants to boost your energy. Dark chocolate is another tasty food that can help amplify brain power and amplify short-term memory. Instead of drinking coffee to help you stay awake, try green tea – it will give you a boost of energy without the jittery feeling of too much caffeine.
- Take time for peace and quiet. Before your exams, sometimes the best idea is to put down your notes, take a deep breath, and give yourself a few minutes to meditate. Meditation can be a great strategy to re-center your focus and clear your mind of anxious thoughts to give you a clean mental slate before you head into a test.
We’re wishing you the best of luck on all of your exams and projects this week. You can do it!
All photos by Amanda Jordan.