Managing Wellness During Exam Season!


Written by: Angela Gill
Photo Credits: Unsplash

As our days get longer and the school term comes to an end, the excitement of summer has only one milestone remaining: exam period. While exam periods may be nerve wracking, it’s a great way to look back at the semester and encompass all you’ve learned and gained. Whether this may be your last examination period or first, test anxiety is not uncommon. In order to subside test anxiety, here are some tips to ensure you are prepped and ready for this exam session! 

Create a Study Plan 

Creating a study plan prior to your scheduled exam has many beneficial aspects. By creating a study plan, you organize your time effectively, ensuring that you have enough time to study for each subject or task, helping with time management: A study plan also allows you to set clear goals. With a study plan, you can set specific goals for what you want to achieve in your studies. This can help you stay focused and motivated, as you have a clear idea of what you need to do to succeed. Moreover, creating a study plan also helps with retention: By scheduling regular study sessions, you can reinforce what you have learned and increase your chances of retaining the information. A study plan also helps reduce stress. When you have a study plan in place, you can avoid last-minute cramming and reduce stress levels. You can approach your studies in a more organized and systematic way, which can help to reduce anxiety. In turn, this also increases productivity: By having a clear plan in place, you can work more efficiently and avoid wasting time on unnecessary tasks. This can help you to be more productive and get more done in less time. Overall, creating a study plan is an effective way to improve your study habits and achieve your academic goals. 

Start studying early! 

Once you have created a study plan, it's important you start studying early. When you start studying earlier for an exam, it increases confidence. When you study early, you have more time to practice and prepare for the exam. This can increase your confidence and reduce anxiety, as you feel more prepared and in control. This in turn also reduces stress. Studying early can help reduce stress levels, as you can approach your studies in a more organized and systematic way. You can avoid the anxiety and panic that can come with trying to cram everything in at the last minute. Lastly, it allows for better retention: When you study early, you have more time to review and reinforce the material, which can help you retain it better. This is especially important for exams that cover a lot of material, as it can be difficult to remember everything if you try to cram at the last minute. 

Study in the Right Place  

Studying in the right place has a huge impact on your productivity, energy levels, and focus. When you pick a location to study, it's important to ensure it's free of any distractions. This can help you stay focused and engaged with your work by reducing the amount of external stimuli. The right study environment can enhance your learning by promoting active engagement and critical thinking. A space that is conducive to learning can help you think creatively and develop new ideas. If you work best in quieter places, a great place to study during exam season is at the Taylor and Betty library lower-level silent study areas or at the Weldon Library silent study floors. Studying in a quiet and organized environment can improve your ability to retain information. By minimizing distractions and interruptions, you can better process and internalize the material you are studying.  

Eat nutritious meals 

Eating nutritious meals while you study prior to your exams also provides further benefits to your study habits. First and foremost, nutritious meals provide energy, energizing our brain requires energy to function properly. Moreover, they also provide the energy needed to stay focused and alert during study sessions. Next, they also improve concentration. A balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein can improve concentration and focus, which is essential for effective studying. During your study breaks, you can grab a granola bar or fruit to keep your energy levels up, further fueling your study habits. Certain foods, such as fatty fish, nuts, and berries, contain nutrients that can also improve memory and cognitive function, which can be beneficial for studying. Nutritious meals can also boost the immune system, which can help prevent illness and reduce the risk of missing important study sessions due to illness. Overall, nutritious meals are beneficial to your overall health, which can improve your academic performance.

Schedule Time For Self-Care & Mindfulness 

By incorporating mindfulness into your study routine, you can improve focus, reduce stress, and increase productivity. Remember to approach your studies with a sense of curiosity and openness and be kind to yourself throughout the process.  

  • Start with a clear intention:
    • Before you begin studying, take a few moments to set an intention for your study session. Ask yourself what you hope to achieve and focus your attention on that goal.
  • Stay present:
    • During your study session, stay present and focused on the task at hand.
  • Avoid multi-tasking and try to give your full attention to each subject or task.
  • Practice gratitude:
    • Take a few moments to express gratitude for the opportunity to study and learn.
    • Reflect on what you have learned and how it will benefit you in the future.
    • Use mindfulness apps: There are many mindfulness apps available that can help you stay focused and calm during study sessions. Some popular apps include Headspace, Calm, and Insight Timer. Western also offers a Mindfulness for Academic Success (MAS) program which is a 6-week program designed to help students manage their academic stress and improve their academic focus. To learn more about the MAS program, go to

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