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7 Ways to Reduce Stress During Exam Time

Aug 17, 2007
January is prime season for taking exams. The first half of the year is over and it's time to show all you've learned until now.

The only problem is students get incredibly stressed and anxious when it's time to remember the mounds of information they've accumulated.

But, according to Jim Sarris, veteran teacher and author of Memory Skills Made Easy, there are things students can do to manage their anxiety and feel more confident and prepared on test day.

"If students can reduce their stress, they are able to actually show what they know," says Sarris.

Here are the 7 tips he offers:

1) Feed your brain the good stuff - the day of the test, stay away from junk food and load up on proteins, complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. This helps to avoid any "sugar crashes" that cause brain fog and produce anxiety.

2) Speak with the teacher - be certain you know what's important to study and what is (and IS NOT) going to be on the test. This way you will only spend time on things you need to know. You can pay closer attention to the material the teacher has labeled "important."

3) Get organized a few days in advance - make sure you have the notes, the handouts, worksheets, the book and any tests or quizzes from the first semester. By doing this a few days early, you leave yourself time to get any information you don't have.

5) Memory strategies - use memory strategies to help file and retrieve information. It does you no good to understand the information at home if you can't remember it the next day. Most anxiety attacks during exams come from not being able to remember what you knew five minutes before.

5) Begin studying two nights before the test - this allows you time to find answers to questions you may have and still have another night to calmly complete your studying so you're prepared the next day.

6) Visualize your success - take some time, sit by yourself undistracted, and imagine yourself entering the classroom totally confident. See yourself sit down, receive the test and begin answering questions without a worry in the world. Feel what it's like to confidently look at the test when you're done, hand it in with a smile on your face and get back a great grade.

7) Get a good night's sleep - cramming is not the answer. Sleep allows the neurons to calmly organize what you've studied so that the next day it's all neatly packaged and ready to go.
About the Author
Jim Sarris has been a math/Spanish/ESL teacher for 15 years. He's the author of Memory Skills Made Easy, a book/DVD that teaches your child memory strategies they don't learn in school. For his free report titled, "Why Your Child Can't Remember What They Study", visit his website at Improve your child's memory
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