Top 10: ways to reduce exam stress

Hannah Baker

Hannah Baker

It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, the grass is turning green, birds are chirping and everyone seems to be in a good mood. However, instead of being outside and soaking up the warmth of the sun, students everywhere are feeling the heat of one long and dreaded event: finals week.

Finals week is a time that can be extremely stressful for students, which could possibly hinder test-taking ability and performance. To make sure you make the most out of the marathon that is finals week, here are a few ways to help keep the stress down.

1. Get plenty of rest.

Being a student, sleep is probably not at the top of the list of priorities during finals, but getting the necessary amount of sleep will help your body relax and endure the long journey ahead. Therefore, avoid late-night cramming as much as possible and make an early date with your pillow.

2. Make a To-Do list.

Make a list prioritizing all the things you need to accomplish during the week. Mark the days you have exams and schedule times for studying. When you organize your time on paper, it helps you visualize your week.

3. Laugh.

Laughing is a great way to relieve stress and heighten your mood. William Olson, sophomore business economics major from Brookings, uses this technique to alleviate his stress.

“Watching a funny movie or joking around with my friends between study breaks helps get my mind refocused,” he said.

4. Eat right.

Although junk food is a quick fix, try to steer clear of these foods during finals week. Eat something light that won’t weigh you down or make you sleepy, such as a piece of fruit or toast instead of chips or sweets.

5. Sweat it out.

Working out is a great way to relieve stress. Kayla Huether, sophomore consumer affairs major from Rapid City, said she enjoys going to the Wellness Center to work off stress and get refocused for other upcoming study sessions. Also, consider making it a group activity and grab your friends for a game of basketball or volleyball because it’s likely they need a break just as much as you do.

6. Listen to music.

Listening to music is an easy way to release built-up stress. Pick a good song, turn up the volume and put those vocal cords to work. If you live in the dorms, or sing like a dog, then you might want to consider going for a drive by yourself out of respect for Proxy-Connection: keep-aliveCache-Control: max-age=0


7. Vent, vent, vent.

Letting out all the things you have trapped inside is a wonderful way to alleviate stress.

Sophomore human development major Ally Koosman, from Tea, S.D., says she uses journaling as a stress-reliever.

“When I journal I get all my feelings out so then when I’m done I can close the book and forget about them,” she said.

Also, talking to a parent, guardian or close friend can help and they might even offer some insight or advise as well.

8. Take a shower.

Taking a long, hot shower helps your body relax and when you are relaxed, you are more focused.

9. Treat yourself.

Do something that makes you feel good on the inside and out. Whether it’s getting a haircut, shopping or eating an ice cream cone, just do what makes you happy.

10. Take regular study breaks.

Although it’s easy to get wrapped up in making sure you cover all the necessary material for your exams, you need to take breaks so the facts have some time to sink in. Try going for a walk, playing video games or reading a magazine to give your brain a break.