Final Push: Clarice's Study Tip #3 – Be Prepared

By: Clarice Fu

It’s the night before your final exam – what do YOU do?

Survival tip #3: Be Prepared

We should all know this well – “Be Prepared” is the Scout motto.  I apply it to everything that I do whether it be a Beaver field trip, a meeting at work, a weekend getaway, and of course, EXAMS.

My exam is at noon tomorrow and I’m super calm because I know I’ve studied as hard as I can. How did I spend my last 3 hours? Here’s a glimpse…

What did I do tonight?

  • Glance over my cheat sheet (from survival tip #2!)
  • Do a handful of practice questions – not with the intent of learning it (it’s too late for that), but to reassure myself that I still remember how to do them.  It’s more of a confidence booster =P
  • Double check my exam time, location, and calculate how long it’ll take me to get there.  I also planned my driving route and figured out where to park.
  • Made sure my bag was 100% ready to go – campus map, cheat sheet, ID, water bottle, 2 pencils, 2 calculators, 2 erasers (yep, I’m minorly OCD).  I know I can roll out of bed tomorrow, grab my bag and focus on getting to the exam location.
  • Take a nice warm bath

Clarice's bag

What I DIDN’T do tonight:

  • Panic
  • Cram

This is just my routine; it works for me.  Everyone should develop their own.  Figure out something that works for you and do whatever it takes to put your mind at ease for the night.  At T-minus 24h, you should be transitioning from “study mode” to “calming mode”.  If you find that there’s something in the material that you still can’t get, it’s too late.  Just skip over it!  It’s not worth staying up the extra hours and the added stress to try to learn it now.

Remember, sleep is NOT for the weak!  Quite contrary, sleep is the BEST thing you can do for yourself in the days before your exam.   I can’t emphasize this enough.  I’m sure you’re aware, sleep deprivation adversely affects brain function, leads to daytime sleepiness, and memory lapses.  You’re less alert, more likely to overlook important details, and less likely to recall the material.  Oh and by the way, studies have shown that your IQ drops with every hour of sleep that you miss.  And there’s no way to make up for lost sleep!!  YIKES!  So why would you do that to yourself?  Get a full 8 hours of sleep in the days building up to your exam, and ESPECIALLY the day before your exam.

I’m off to bed now to dream about Ace-ing my exam =)

Til tomorrow,

<3 Clarice

Check out the entire Final Push series

Tip #1: Plan a Study Schedule
Tip #2: Make a 1 Page Cheat Sheet
Tip #3: Be Prepared
Tip #4: Exam Writing Strategies
Tip #5: Preparing for the real Big one

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