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Peer Advice: Persevering Through What Feels Like Endless Exams


You’ve made it this far and you’ve surely done a lot of studying already to get here but now it’s mid-quarter and you may feel like you’re drowning in exams.

For those of you who have been on a quarter system schedule before, this may feel familiar but for many, weekly exams do not feel like the norm. I took a gap year to work so getting back on the train of weekly exams took a lot of work. So, I’m here now to give some tips on how to keep going when you’re tired of constantly studying for exams that weigh heavily in each class. You may worry or feel anxious about your classes (trust me, I’m still there), but that test you dread or the next 7 tests you wince at the thought of will pass.

  1. Make sure you have a thoughtfully created schedule that prioritizes your needs and the discipline to follow through. Before the week begins, it helps to get out your planner or Google calendar and put down your first priorities. This may be your classes, labs, work, or other primary commitments. Then, block out time to study and do self-care, exercise, maintain relationships, eat, sleep. Mixing in the things that energize you and make you smile along with your commitments will create a healthy and sustainable balance for this endurance race.
  2. Have a study plan! You will know ahead of time when exams for each class are scheduled so organize your study time blocks according to what you need. Whether it be doing practice problems, rereading slides, rewatching lectures, or quizzing each other, test out different options to find what works best for you. It may be different among your classes too and that’s great!
  3. Learn to say no. As you are building your career it will be tempting to say yes to everything from leadership roles to club memberships to volunteer opportunities. While these are all wonderful, be sure to know your limits and take care of yourself. The academic load is plenty and your success here will be closely tied to your mental health.
  4. Don’t look back endlessly. After exams, I’d find myself searching through my notes for answers to questions I wasn’t sure about. While this sometimes helped me learn the material so that I don’t miss that question on a future test, it was not always the best for my mental health. I would incessantly dwell on what could have been and regret would almost suffocate me. Please don’t do this to yourself. Instead, learn what you need to and then close your laptop. Allow yourself time away from Moodle and notes. Instead, go get some sunshine or a nap so you can properly recharge for the marathon ahead.

I know you all will do great and I am so proud of how far you’ve already come! Work hard and have fun!