I'm going to fail this exam...
I’m going to fail this exam......
Maddie: Mom! My physics final is tomorrow and I just started studying. I'm scared I'm going to fail.
Mom: Ok, calm down. Where are you now?
Maddie: I'm in the library by myself. I can't do this.
Mom: Don't say that. Negative self-talk won't help. How many hours until the exam? Maybe you can start by outlining the material.
Maddie: I have my friend's study guide...just not enough time. I'll have to pull an all nighter to pass, and even then, I don't know if I will.
Mom: Not sleeping is a bad idea. You won't be able to retain any of the information. Study the most important concepts, keeping in mind what you think you'll be tested on. You've learned a lot more than you realize just by going to class.
Maddie: Ok. What if I just sleep like two hours?
Mom: Try to get a full night's sleep. Eating something healthy and drinking lots of water will be important too.
Maddie: I'm just really upset I'm in this situation. I don't want to get a bad grade.
Mom: Don't be too hard on yourself. It's just one exam, and you can learn how to balance your obligations more going forward. Your self worth is not defined by a grade.
Maddie: What if I get nervous before I take the test? I always freak out.
Mom: Deep breathing will help. And think about an activity you can look forward to once you're done.
Maddie: Thanks mom. I'll text you after to let you know how it goes. :-)
If you find yourself answering similar texts from your children, chances are they haven't learned how to prepare for exams. The key is not to wait until the last minute. After every class, or at least once a week, your children should read over their notes and make sure they understand the material. In addition, they can highlight the most important concepts as well as anything the professor says will be on the exam. By going over their notes regularly, they will be digesting the information way before they begin studying for the exam.
Some other tips for exam preparation:
1) Create a study plan that gives you a number of days to study for an exam. Never leave the studying until the night before the exam.
2) Take regular breaks when you're studying. Most people can’t focus for hours and really learn the material. It's better to study for an hour, take a 5 -10 minute break and then start studying again.
3) Don't forget about your self-care while you're studying for an exam. If you continue to eat healthy, stay hydrated, exercise and get enough sleep, you will have the energy and focus you need to study well.
4) Study with a buddy. If you have a friend in the class, it's a great idea to ask each other questions. Simply reading over your notes is not as good as actually responding to questions related to the material. You can also create a practice exam for yourself or your study buddy. Ideally, you can find old exams from the course and use those as practice.
Studying tips is one small part of my Crush College Stress program. If you would like to learn more, schedule a free Stress-Less Strategy Call : CLICK HERE FOR A FREE CALL