Every time you have to study for a test, you are overcome with stress. Your desk becomes a mess of crumpled papers and crushed energy drink cans. You force yourself to stay up until the sun rises, trying to cram as much information into your brain as possible. But no matter how much you cram, you can’t remember anything you learned when it’s finally time to put your pencil to paper. The build-up of stress makes your mind go blank.
So, how can you manage your study stress better?
Go to Sleep
Stop pulling all-nighters before your tests. Losing sleep leads to poor emotional regulation, which means you’ll be more irritable and stressed out. Instead of staying up late, stick to your usual bedtime routine. You’ll feel much calmer in the days leading up to your test and on the big test day.
Plus, losing sleep can lead to bad test results! Sleep deprivation leads to poorer memory, focus and problem-solving capabilities — all qualities that will come in handy on test day. It’s no wonder why the American Academy of Sleep Medicine has found that students who get adequate sleep perform better academically than students who are sleep deprived.
Cramming for hours straight won’t just increase your stress levels — it could lead to burnout and bad test results. It may sound counterintuitive, but you should take frequent breaks. It will make you more productive, and it will stop you from feeling overwhelmed.
If you’re not sure when to step away from your desk and take a breather, follow the Pomodoro Technique. It encourages you to study in 25-minute chunks, followed by five-minute breaks. There are plenty of apps that can help you use this technique:
- Clockwork Tomato
- Marinara Timer
- Be Focused
- Focus Booster
Exercise is an excellent stress reliever. So, whenever you’re taking a short break from studying, squeeze in a little bit of exercise. Go for a five-minute walk. Do some yoga stretches. Dance around to music in your room. This should ease your stress and give you a burst of endorphins, which will motivate you to hit the books, again.
Studies have also found that exercise can benefit cognitive performance! So, doing a short workout could help you read your notes and memorize facts.
Get a Flexible Schedule
Are you stressed because of your schedule? Do you feel like you don’t have enough time to study as your classmates do? Do you feel like you’re falling behind? Then, you may need to look into a virtual high school as a solution.
How will a virtual high school help? A virtual high school has a lot of similar qualities to your in-person school. It offers curriculum courses like grade 12 advanced functions that result in credits that go toward your high school diploma. The school is staffed by certified teachers that offer students guidance for their coursework.
One feature that differentiates virtual high school from in-person school is its flexible schedule. Online courses are made up of pre-recorded lessons that you can tackle whenever you’d like. You have between 4 weeks and a year to complete your course. You even have the option to apply for an extension in case you need even more time to prepare for your final exam. You’ll have plenty of time to study and prepare.
Studying doesn’t have to be so stressful. Follow these tips to ease your stress and ace your tests!