Midterms and Finals have the ability to affect our mental and physical health in such a way that it is practically unfathomable. Without even factoring in the unknown of virtual exams, in person exams were peak stress. You can study your heart out and still feel like some things came out of the blue! I wish exams got easier as you progressed through school, but this simply is not true. Luckily, the more exams you take, the more prepared you are in terms of preparing for the exam.

The reason that exams continue to be so stressful, at least personally, is that it is pretty difficult to predict how the professor will create the exam. Every single professor is different and there is no universal template for exams at my university. This past exam period I had a five essay exam, true/ false with short answer, true/ false with fill in the blank and short and long answer questions, final projects, and a long answer question exam. The variation in exam format wasn’t because of the variation of courses but each professor believed their form of assessment was best. Since each professor does something different, it is stressful just waiting to have the exam explained to you let alone taking it. 

Luckily, we gain experience and knowledge for our future exam cycles during the stressful ones. I learned its best to try and study the concepts and background information rather than memorize the answers to the questions you believe the professor will ask. If you can understand the concepts, you are pretty much set to answer most questions as best as possible. When studying, commit to wanting to actually know the information you’ve learned rather than retain it for the exam and lose it all after.

Next note is that getting through these tough study moments requires sustenance. Use snacks as incentives for finishing a section of study! After each reviewed chapter you can have 1 Oreo or whatever snack you like. Then make sure to take breaks. I’m pretty food oriented so my excuse for breaks are meals. After an hour of work, I’ll take ten minutes to eat an apple, drink lots of water, and then back to work for an hour. Breaks are vital to getting through the exam period. 

In the end, I suggest you work and focus, take breaks, and eat snacks! No matter what, know that you got this and that exams will be over before you know it! Good luck and try to enjoy the crazy times because there are only a few left!!