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  • Ana Pujol


Updated: Jul 28, 2023

Tis’ the season of holiday cheer and coming together with our loved ones to celebrate the approach of a brand new year. Yet, as we reach this longed-for winter time, we also get closer and closer to the dreadful testing season. Whether it be finals or SATs, getting lost in the stressful preparation that comes along the way is very easy. Here are my top five tips – coming from a student who has undergone a treacherous amount of stress preparing for testing – to get you through it this winter, all while keeping your mental health a top priority.


Studying last minute isn’t going to change the result drastically, so you might as well rest up right before testing. I cannot stress this enough, it is ESSENTIAL for your mental health that you relax the night before a big exam. Your brain has already been working nonstop for the big moment, and it deserves a break.

Allow yourself to crash in bed and watch your favorite TV show or flick, take a nice bath with candles and soft music, or enjoy a long nap. Those self-care moments which heal your mind and ensure utmost concentration the next day will genuinely do you a fav

A filling breakfast or meal is more than necessary prior to testing. Depending on the kind of exam you’re taking, it could take anywhere from roughly forty-five minutes to over four hours. Regardless of the time, food is fuel. Having a healthy breakfast will provide you with the energy to focus and do well on your exam. I also strongly recommend carrying a water bottle with you at all times, especially when testing. Having a cold sip of water during a test can calm you down if you’re feeling overwhelmed.


Meditation is the act of engaging your mind and focusing it, without regard for any thought that might pop in while you’re concentrating. At first, I was very skeptical about meditation and didn’t really see its benefit. However, as a high school junior, the stress of upcoming big exams started to fill up my life, and I came to find that a good meditation session can calm your nerves before taking an exam. It helps you get a clear scan of your feelings and be mindful of where your head lies going into testing. Here are some of my favorite pre-test meditations:


Always remember- you’re not alone in this journey to pass your exam. Chances are, the majority of your class is also just as stressed. Finding a study buddy to practice with will help you retain and learn information in a much more efficient manner. Some of my favorite partner-study tactics include: Re-teaching each other the topic, comparing notes, and quizzing each other. The additional fun is also an amazing benefit.


I can easily argue that one of the most vital parts of getting through a hard exam is planning ahead of time. From what strategies you’re going to use to optimize your time while actually testing, to the way you approach taking notes. Personally, I have found that starting a test from the end portion and moving backward to the beginning, has helped me focus on those harder questions. Planning ahead of time and familiarizing yourself with several strategies to understand the content will boost your confidence when going into the test.


Ultimately, testing is inevitable, but the truth is, it doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it out to be. Trust your gut, and give 110% of your effort, and the universe will return the favor with a great score. Finals season has just begun, but just around the corner is the holiday break and the new year, so let’s give one last final push and end it with a positive attitude.


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