Exam season is fast approaching, and stress levels are on the rise. The typical response for most students is to disappear into a mass of books for the next three weeks. Writing papers and studying takes over all aspects of life. Sleep becomes non-existent. There is barely time to eat, let alone workout or meet up with friends for some social time.

My challenge to students is to do the opposite. Look after yourself first. Get a reasonable night’s sleep. Prioritize your workout. Eat well and tuck away some time for socializing. You may just find that your stress level reduces, study time becomes more efficient and effective, and that you are thinking more clearly and retaining more information with focused studying.

To be effective at this, you will need to have a study strategy. Look at the central themes/topics in each class and determine what is most likely to show up on your exam. Focus on those topics. Typically, you can look at the kinds of questions and style of exam that you had for your midterms and expect the same. Find a classmate to discuss what they are expecting on your exam, just in case you’ve missed a key message. Don’t hesitate to talk to your prof if you are feeling like you’re spinning your wheels. They may have a practice exam, or some direction to help you in focusing your effort.

By having a solid study strategy and looking after yourself, you may just find that you have time to spare!

By Jason Britton

Jason is a Bachelor of Physical Education graduate from the University of Alberta. He is an NCCP Coach in Swimming and Triathlon, and a five time World Championship team coach. Jason is a lifeguard with the MacEwan University Sport and Wellness Aquatics team.