Exam season is here! 

Do you feel overwhelmed, sick to your stomach, and even sleepless? Do you wonder how you'll make it through exam season?

Woman saying I am losing it!

Managing stress begins on the first day of the semester. The right preparation and resources will help you survive your exams without losing it!

Start Preparing On Day 1

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  • If you receive a study guide from your professor, review it as soon as you get it. You can make your own if there isn't one available.

  • Recall from memory important points from each class within 24 hours — write, draw, or say them out loud.

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  • Use your notes and materials to check your accuracy and focus on what you missed from memory.

  • Find a study buddy or join/start a study group. Reviewing with classmates will help you see new perspectives and remember the material better.

Bernie saying I am once again asking for you to begin studying ASAP Please!

Manage Your Time

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  • Check your syllabus or ask professors if you have an actual exam, and note the date when it becomes available.

  • For any final papers, presentations, and projects, note their due dates and prepare an assignment schedule for the semester.

  • Set a study review schedule and find a quiet place to study.

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  • Keep procrastination at bay! Remember to write papers and finish projects early so you'll have enough time to study for exams.

  • You won't learn much from cramming, so waiting until the last minute to begin studying will mean poor exam scores.

  • Check exam times since they may be different than regular class times.

A stop watch and a thinking bubble with the words It's Time.

Take Care Of Your Body And Your Mind

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  • Keep a regular sleep schedule.

  • Maintain a healthy diet and stay hydrated.

  • Practice self-care like yoga, meditation, exercise, or journaling.

  • Celebrate small victories like consistent studying by giving yourself a treat.

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  • Avoid late-night cramming! Start studying earlier so you'll be well-rested.

  • Beware of junk food, and stay away from caffeine, drugs, or alcohol to cope with stress.

  • If your schedule feels impossible, take breaks more often.

A cat reading a book!

Ask For Help Early And Often

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  • If you feel lost, ask for help right away. Your instructors and professors want you to succeed, so feel free to visit them during office hours.

  • Advocate for yourself! Ask specific questions to understand what’s expected of you.

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  • Take advantage of exam season campus programming! Seek help from a school counselor or tutoring center.

  • Look for academic or mental health help from your school’s resources.

  • Call a friend or family member if you need to talk.

A man saying:  Plan, do, ask for help!


You're completely stressed about exam season and are having second thoughts about your choice of degree. What should you do?

Take the exams anyways.

Skip the exams.

Change your major before the exams.

Drop out of college.

Take Action

Women at a college graduation!


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This Byte has been authored by


Mary Hoftiezer

Instructional Designer