DEALING WITH STRESS

| 2/15/15 8:54pm

It's that time of the semester again – midterms week.

This is one of the most stressful points in the semester for many students. Having multiple tests in one week puts a strain on every student. On top of that, there are group projects to worry about, regular homework assignments to complete, clubs to stay involved in and other activities to keep up with. The world keeps on turning.

Students often hear many tips about how to best prepare for midterms – start early, make notecards, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, etc. Sometimes, people telling you how to prepare can be as overwhelming as the tests themselves.

There is one tip that is often overlooked, one that can prove to be the most helpful: Do what works best for you.

Many students know what they have tried doing to prepare for tests in the past and what has and hasn't worked for them. For those students who know how they need to prepare for tests, stick with that. Don't worry about what your friends are doing or what they think – if you know you need complete silence to get through reading your notes, then find a place where you can have that. If you like music or some kind of background noise while you study, there are places with that kind of environment too.

For those students who have tried different ways to prepare for tests and haven't found a way that works best for them, ask your friends what they do or try something different. Once you know what hasn't worked, you can eliminate those options and find what does work for you.

Many students have a hard time knowing how to prepare for an exam, which is where university resources are especially advantageous. Talking to your professor can be a great help, as they know exactly what will be on the exam. They are often willing to give an outline or study guide for what the exam will focus on, which helps students narrow down what they need to spend more time on. The Grand Valley State University Career Center and Student Academic Success Center on campus can also provide students with helpful resources.

The notion that there is a "best" way to prepare for a test is false. While there may be some ways that are more effective than others, there is no right or wrong way – no way of studying is going to guarantee a student an "A" on the exam. So the best tip that can be offered is to find what way works best for you, and stick with it.

Good luck, Lakers!

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