Back-to-back tests are stressful for several reasons. First, your normal study habits are interrupted since you cant devote all of your study efforts to one particular subject as you normally would. Instead, you are forced to split your study time in half.
Another factor that increases stress on double-test days is the physical toll that an extended test time will take on your mind and body. Its important to prepare ahead of time to reduce the effects of added stress.
Preparing Ahead for Midterms and Finals
Sleep and nutrition are important factors in keeping your mind and body alert. Avoid things like junk food, cigarettes, and caffeine in the days prior to the test day. These things take a physical toll on your stamina. Youll need it!
Learn a few breathing and meditation exercises in the weeks or days leading up to your exams. These are great for relieving stress. Practice the techniques so that youll be ready to relax your mind between test times.
Exercise your hand! It may sound crazy now, but if your hand starts to cramp up during your first exam from extended writing, you could be in real trouble for your second exam. Practice writing in a note pad in the weeks before your midterms or finals.
Bring a snack in your book bag for a quick bite between exams. Nothing too heavy, though. Too much food can make you sleepy.
If your tests will take place in an unfamiliar building, scope out your testing rooms ahead of time. You dont want to be late for either test!
Pack all the tools youll need the night before. Include extra pencils and pens.
Between the Tests
Ask your teacher if you can leave the classroom as soon as you finish the first test. This will give you more time to prepare for the next exam.
After you finish the first test, try to find a quiet place where you can be alone and clear your head for awhile. If you cant find a place where you can be completely alone, make an effort to tune out other students. They may be talking about tests, and your goal is to block out any stressful thoughts.
If you eat something, stick with ice water for your drink. Sodas contain sugar and this can affect your mood and your stress level.
Walk outside if its cool. Fresh air is rejuvenating.
If its not cold out or if you cant go outside to refresh yourself, try splashing some cold water on your face. Better yet, if you have the time and its not too weird, try splashing cold water on your feet. This is really refreshing.
Chew a refreshing mint gum and drink cold water.
Practice your relaxation and meditation techniques.
Do some stretches. Roll your head around to stretch and flex your neck and shoulder muscles.
Gather all the necessary tools for your second tests so that you enter the room fully prepared. Go to your second test room twenty minutes early, if possible. It is sometimes calming to review your notes in the actual room where your test will take place.