Back to School: Best Ways to Prepare for Exams

Nothing is worse than realizing the big exam is no longer in a few weeks, but tomorrow! Unfortunately, this happens more often than we would like it to.  A big part of the work I do with college students is to help them prepare for those big exams  The goal is to avoid procrastinating and to walk into the classroom confident and ready to go! 

Here are a few strategies to get prepared:

Have a Study Plan - Next week can seem like a long time away, you're thinking “I have plenty of time.”  But as we already know, time can sneak up on us in a hurry!  Having a study plan that is documented can help you to stay focused and on track.

Here's an example: Exam is in one week. Exam covers Chapters 1-6. 

Day One - Review Chapters 1 & 2 

Day Two - Review Chapters 3 & 4

Day Three - ReviewChapters 5 & 6 

Day Four -  Review Chapters 1-3

Day Five - Review Chapters 4-6 

Day Six - Review all Notes and Chapters 

Day Seven - Day of Exam! Do a quick review but don’t stress too much, you're ready. 

***Note: I always encourage students to visit your teacher/professor during office hours prior to the exam to get any additional help or information that may be needed, so be sure to fit this into your study plan. 

Most likely there will need to be some flexibility built into this plan, even with the best intentions, distractions and disruptions will happen.  However, this gives you a much better guideline and better chance of success than just winging it and hoping for the best. 

Take Breaks - This was mentioned in the Podcast, "5 Tips to Studying Smarter," but I think it’s worth mentioning again. Your brain needs to have breaks, it will stay more focused and retain more information by doing so.  The idea is to study for 30 minutes and then take a 10 minute break. However, there are certain things I recommend staying away from during this 10 minute break, like reading Facebook or email.  These are distractions that may be very difficult to pull away from, so leave these activities for another time.  Some helpful things to do on your break are to take a walk, get some water, do a few stretches, etc.

Just in case: Set timers for the 30 minutes and again after the 10 minutes is over, which will help you stay on track and get back to studying.  Know this is just a recommendation, so feel free to adjust the timeframe to work best for you.

Self-Care - Here it is again! Remember taking care of your ADHD means you have to take care of you.  This is especially true right before a final exam!  Go to bed early the night before your test; don’t fool yourself thinking an all-nigher is going to be a great idea, it’s not!  Eat a healthy breakfast with some protein, like scrambled eggs and fruit, no coffee and donuts.  Also, testing anxiety is very real and can cause a great deal of stress.  Prior to the day of the test, practice some meditation breathing exercises. Just taking a moment to breath and center yourself can make all the difference. 

For more information and tips on how to study, please listen to Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast, Ep 225: 5 Tips to Studying Smarter.  You can also find different articles on The ADHD Student Pinterest Board. 

For a free consultation to find out if ADHD Coaching is right for you, please email me at nikki@takecontroladhd.com.  

Until Next Time...

Take Care,

Nikki