Avoid midterm stress: prepare

graphic by Marissa Arnold

Midterms are fast approaching, and students can find themselves wound up and stressed about how they will perform. Fortunately, there are some major things that all students can do to perform better on exams.

One of the easiest things for people miss, or even intentionally skip, is breakfast. Breakfast is, as the saying goes, the most important meal of the day.

Breakfast has been proven to be very beneficial for students’ energy levels and focus, according to an article by the BBC. Among the best foods to eat the morning of test day are whole grains and proteins.

A healthy night’s sleep, something students lack on a regular basis, is also vital. Being well-rested is particularly crucial during testing.

An article by Dr. Robert Oexman, Director of the Sleep to Live Institute, explains that there are nearly innumerable benefits intrinsically tied to sleep. Among them include REM sleep, which allows the brain to better store memories.

One other major benefit of healthy rest is increased concentration. A paper published by the National Institutes of Health actually draws a link between a lower GPA and poor sleep.

Water should not be underestimated in its importance to the exam process either. It has been linked to markedly higher exam results amongst students.

An article from the BBC described a study done on students taking an exam where some students brought water and others did not. Overall, the students with water scored an average of five percentage points higher than their peers.

Students must also make sure stress does not become overwhelming. Stress is a serious problem that many students face, but with proper preparation, it can be avoided.

One method used by many to reduce stress is beginning studying well before the exam date. Another, backed by an article in Applied Cognitive Psychology, states that steady, repetitive music can help concentration.

Test anxiety and stress are both issues that should be dealt with early on, as they can get nasty if a student is careless enough.

By utilizing these tips before exams, midterms will no longer be something to fear.

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