‘Ugh. I hate tests. I hate studying. It’s not fun. It takes so much time. Why do I have to know ALL of this? Maybe I can just wing it without really doing all this. ‘ Sound familiar?

Remember WHY  you are in school, why you have already put so much effort into school. Why is it important to you that you do well?

“Do what you have to do so you can do what you want to do.” Oprah Winfrey

I love that quote. We all have ambitions, things we want to accomplish. With every goal comes steps. We have to follow the steps to reach our goal(s). They may not always be easy steps to follow and unexpected challenges are sure to arise, but remember every student has 3 super powers.

There were several classes, assignments, projects, tests, and even instructors that I didn’t like, but my goal was too important to me to not study for one test.

Think of all the tests you have already taken in your life. It’s a lot! You survived every one. Your midterm or final exam is just one more. No biggie.

‘Ugh. But I am not good at taking tests. I never do well no matter how much I study. I get too nervous and can’t remember anything.’ Sound familiar?

I understand. It is ok to be stressed. There is nothing wrong with you. Tests are nerve wrecking. Breathe. Breathe again. Keep breathing. I have had test anxiety ever since I was in elementary school. It only got worse when I was in college and university. The minute I received the test I felt my heart pound harder and harder. My face felt hot and my body became extremely tense. Timed tests only made the situation more stressful. I found these 8 things help reduce test anxiety.

Think about what has worked and not worked with your past study strategies. What can you change. What new strategies can you try? Flashcards? Change of study environment? Work with a fellow student?

Change Your Perspective

Finals are a time when you get to show off. Whether it’s an exam or presentation this is your chance to display how far you’ve come in a particular subject, how much you’ve learned.  Show your teachers and professors how awesome you are. What do you want to do with what you’ve learned this year or semester? What will your reward be after final exams are completed? How will you celebrate? The reward is super important to have in mind while studying and completing final exams.

Make A Plan

Create a study schedule at least 2 weeks or more in advance for finals. Your plan should state what subjects you are studying when and for how long, as well as noting specific study strategies you will use. Just saying you will study or review a chapter is not specific enough. The best way to retain info is to actively study the information, not just read over it. For help read my post on studying and the brain.

When you are making your plan  think about how much time you want to put aside each night for studying? For example, if it is 2 hours then, you need to decide what you want to study in those two hours each night. It could be 1 hour of math and then 1 hour of English.  Depending on how many subjects you have to study for the next night you may spend your two hours studying science and history. The first week you will probably study each subject more than once for about an hour at a time. At the beginning of the second week those hour-long segments should be shortened to 30-45 minutes. Towards the end of the second week the 30-45 min. should be shortened again. When you are a couple of days away from finals there should be NO CRAMMING because you have utilized what’s called the “Curve of Forgetting,” where you study a little bit at a time on a consistent basis. This is the BEST STUDY METHOD!  Write out your plan and post it where you can see it everyday. You might even want to utilize your smart phone to set reminders. Also, see my post about Test Taking: Tips, Strategies, & How to Reduce Anxiety. Lots of helpful stuff!

Click HERE to get the Student Futures Test Preparation Guide.

Achieve your academic goal(s) with less stress and more success. Use the time map and the study plan sheet to be prepared for any major test that comes your way. Manage test anxiety and discover various tips and strategies that you can use to get the grade you want.



Melanie Black is an Associate Certified Academic Life Coach and mindfulness educator. She is passionate about helping others and learning all she can in the process. With over ten years of experience in the field of education, she is determined to help students succeed in school and life. “ One of my goals is to continue to be a humanitarian who helps our local community. I am passionate about my relentless pursuit of knowledge and desire to help others.“