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The Final Stretch – 6 Skills to Cope with Finals

Stress from studying

As the school year comes to an end, students start feeling the pressure. The last month of school is jam packed with standardized testing, end of year projects, AP tests, and final exams. Students can almost taste the sweet freedom of summer, but they have to survive the last month of school first. Here are some tips for students to successfully cope with the stress and anxiety associated with final exams.

1. Create a study schedule

Creating a schedule including due dates and testing dates can really help you stay organized and prepared, but creating a detailed schedule of when you are going to study certain subjects can help prioritize your time and decrease anxiety. Breaking up material into sections also makes it easier to complete, and you won’t have to worry about having enough time to get things done!

2. Study one subject at a time

This tip is very important. Our brains have to transfer the information we study from our short term memory to our long term memory, and we can only retain so much information at a time. When you study one subject at a time, get a good night’s rest, and then review the next morning you’re more likely to recall the information than if you studied multiple subjects at a time.

3. Get at least 8 hours of sleep

Sleeping is crucial for retaining information because your brain transfers information from your short term memory to your long term memory best when you’re asleep. Staying awake all night studying will make you tired, foggy, and less likely to be successful on exams.

4. Eat regular meals and snacks

Make sure that you’re eating nutritional snacks and meals. When your body and mind are stressed it can feel easier to eat fast food and quick snacks, but your body really needs nutrition to work at its optimal level during finals. Make sure to eat your veggies, fruits, and protein. It’s been said that a banana and a peppermint can increase your ability to focus and be successful on exams.

5. Self-care

Even though is can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day when you’re trying to study for finals, make sure to take a break and relax every day. Participate in an activity that you enjoy or find stress relieving such as spending time with friends, watching a TV show, exercising, practicing mindfulness, or reading a book. Even though you need to study; you also need to take care of yourself. Self-care can decrease stress levels and anxiety associated with finals.

6. Positive Self-Talk

Remember to empower yourself to be successful with positive self-talk. Create positive affirmations that encourage you to do your best. Keep in mind that although you value your grades, they are only as important as you make them. A less than desirable grade on a test does not mean you are a failure – you are still valuable. You’ve got this!

onsite_school_based_counselingIf your teenager needs someone to talk to please call the Summit Counseling Center to make an appointment with one of the licensed School-based Therapists located in Alpharetta, Centennial, Chattahoochee, Johns Creek, Milton, and Northview high school at 678-893-5300!

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