Don’t stress it

Members of Panther Nation share insight into exam preparedness


"Exam" by albertogp123 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

We all stress out and panic in the weeks leading up to exams, but these Starr’s Mill students share their advice to combat stress and prepare for exams. We also get suggestions from Principal Allen Leonard regarding how he thinks students should prepare for exams.

It is that time of year again, when everyone is in full panic mode for exams, and are last-minute stressing to qualify for exemptions. These two weeks after Thanksgiving are filled with late-night cramming, little sleep, a few tears, and tons of caffeine. 

While it is completely understandable to be overwhelmed, here are a few tips from students to help combat your stress, and perform the best on exams. 

“Take deep breaths, and just remind yourself that this one exam doesn’t control the rest of your life,” junior Ivey Breinig said. “As long as you know that you prepared to the best of your abilities, you’ll be okay.” 

While preparing for exams, it is important to remember that as long as you try your best, and put in the effort to prepare it will all be okay. One exam does not determine the rest of your future. 

“The sooner you start preparing for exams, the better you will feel,” junior Courtney Caplan said. “Don’t risk putting it off until the last minute.”

The sooner you start preparing for exams, the better you will feel.

— junior Courtney Caplan

While studying for exams, if you wait and try to cram at the very last minute you are practically dooming yourself. This increases stress and decreases the possibility that you will actually remember anything. 

“Quizlet, and unit study guides are your best friend,” sophomore Julian Agudelo said.

Using the resources given to you is one of the best ways to prepare. The majority of the time if your teacher gives it to you to study, it is because it will be on the exam (Despite popular opinion, it is not just to make you want to cry).  Pro tip: Quizlet’s “learn” function is the absolute best way to memorize things. 

“Study right before bed because it helps with memory,” senior Olivia Price said. “Then sleep on it and look back over it in the morning.”

Finding a study method that works for you is super important. If you do not know what works for you then try Olivia’s method of sleeping on it to help absorb the knowledge. 

“To help ensure that I study properly, I try to leave my house or move to a place with fewer distractions so that I focus on what I need to be doing,” junior Alaina Campbell said. “I also make sure that I balance study time with sleep time to reduce stress.”

“The best advice I can give would be to find a room with no distractions and bring all your stuff in there,” senior Corbin McEver said. “Keeping yourself focused can be your best asset to acing an exam.” 

The best way to prepare for an exam is like the best way to eat an elephant — a little bit at a time and one bite at a time.

— Principal Allen Leonard

Making sure that you are in a place where you can study comfortably and without distractions is key. If you are in a messy or loud environment it is more likely that you will ‘zone out’ or just simply forget what you are studying. 

“The best way to prepare for an exam is like the best way to eat an elephant — a little bit at a time and one bite at a time. The best advice I could give any of our students is to have started last week,” Principal Allen Leonard said. “As we get closer and closer to exams, I believe prioritization is important to make sure you know how you’re doing in your classes. Make sure you are aware of what you know and don’t know. I would also say don’t be afraid to put everything down, close that book for a minute and go for a walk, don’t plug in, and just clean your head with physical activity.” 

Trust me, we all have been stressed out before an exam. We all know that feeling of wanting to cry the night before. In the end, it is just a larger version of a test, and no matter if you are a freshman taking your first one or a senior taking them for the final time (Thank you, senior exemptions for spring), it will all work out in the end. 

In the wise words Prowler adviser Justin Spencer borrowed from the Philadelphia 76ers, “Trust the process.”