Exam Test-Taking Strategies

Tried-and-true methods that work


Photo by S. Lewis

Eryn Wagner (11) writes for an assignment

Samiah Lewis , Writer

Sweaty palms, dry mouth, racing heartbeat; exams can be nerve wracking. It takes mental and physical strength to endure the callous week of exams, but how can we preform our best if we don’t feel our best? These foolproof ways can aid in exam preparation and calming nerves. 


Just Breathe 

The most important thing to do is relax and take a deep breathe. As cliché as this strategy sounds, it works wonders! Stress and anxiety cause your breathing patters to change, so it’s important to close your eyes and take at least 10 slow deep breaths to ground yourself. 


Get Enough Sleep 

Sacrificing sleep is bad for your brain, it will affect your memory and lead to poor performance. A study on sleep cycles by Nature Communications, a multidisciplinary journal, has proven that the more time we spend awake, the weaker our memory becomes. If we force ourselves to stay awake, the neurons in our brain become saturated and leads to decrease in memory retention and cause the brain to go on overdrive. Sleeping before an exam allows the brain’s neurons to regenerate and form new connections. 


Stay in Control 

Don’t allow test anxiety to get the best of you. Learn to accept mistakes, and don’t connect your self-worth to the exam’s outcome. Your worthwhileness as a person is not dependent on your grades. 


Light Exercise 

Exercise leads to reduced anxiety and aids in handling stress. Going for a walk, swimming, dancing or bike riding is great for your body and brain. There is a strong link between a sense of well-being and regular exercise.