Overlooked study tips

Rachel Gima, Staff Writer

With students rushing to complete projects and assignments while studying for a seemingly endless barrage of tests, it can feel like more work is done in the last quarter of the school year than the first three combined. To mitigate the stress that comes with this period, students have often been told to not procrastinate, to make study schedules, to prioritize sleep, to study in advance and more—but despite our best efforts, exam season can get the better of us. Here’s a list of advice that often goes unsaid but can help propel you into a successful end of the school year. 

1. Plan outfits in advance. Picking out your clothes for the day can take a lot of energy and add unnecessary stress to the morning. Even worse it often leaves your room in a mess, taking away both precious sleep and relaxation time when you have to clean everything up. To avoid this, plan outfits the night before to make the process much more efficient. Be sure to check the following day’s weather before you pick out your clothes to ensure there aren’t any last-minute scrambles in the morning. 

2. Eat regular meals Lack of sleep, stress and excessive screen time is the exam season’s headache-inducing trifecta. As students get caught up in the hustle and bustle of schoolwork, they often forget to eat regular, balanced meals and drink adequate water, both of which further contribute to the headaches and colds that make studying difficult. However, having healthy snacks and a water bottle on hand can keep your energy levels up so you can continue working at optimum brain power levels without a sugar crash. 

3. Study somewhere else. If you’re like many high schoolers and you’re not allowed food in your room, studying elsewhere—whether that be downstairs, at a park or in your backyard—provides a chance to snack while studying and also offers a refreshing change of pace. Hybrid and Irvine Virtual Academy students alike spend hours sitting at desks within the four walls of a room (usually with the door closed), so varying that environment can break up the monotony of studying and make it easier to maintain your energy and focus.  

4. Keep your desk clean. Regardless of where you choose to study, having a clean working environment brings a sense of peace and serenity. A cluttered room is a cluttered mind and can add even more stress to an already busy time of the year. If your work environment is fairly messy, take some time to organize and put everything away so you’re left with a clear space. Accomplishing this first step will make it so that every day after, you only have to spend one or two minutes  to tidy up and maintain a clean space. 

5. Develop an exercise routine. Exercise is important for one’s overall well-being, but during exam season, it can be difficult to carve out a few hours each week to go on mile-long runs or a garage-gym session, and being exhausted afterwards leaves less time for studying. To still get some exercise in, there are countless ten-minute, equipment-free YouTube workouts for the indoors that are challenging enough to get your heart rate up but not so energy-consuming that you end up fatigued. Taking quick breaks to do this can be more productive for your studying instead of a ten-minute social media break, and it can also help you sleep better at night. If you’re feeling burnt out during a long study session and need to get out of the house, taking a walk outside and just enjoying nature can serve as a great refresher.

6. Attend office hours.  Parents and teachers alike encourage students to do so, but what often goes unsaid is that office hours this year look very different from the Tutorial that students are accustomed to, and as such can be daunting or confusing to attend. However, even if you’re so confused that you don’t really know what to ask, attending office hours will allow teachers to give you an overview of the subject material that you’re confused about. Once you’ve gained a better understanding of the material, you’ll be able to ask follow-up questions that can truly help you learn the material well, setting you up for a highly successful exam season.