As AP exams approach, everyone’s feeling a certain level of stress and anxiety. This is completely normal, but it’s important to learn how to manage this stress to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with your performance on test day. Sophomore year, anxiety cost me, but junior year, I created a study plan along with some tools to manage stress, and got much better results. Here they are:
Develop a Study Plan
Creating a study plan can help you feel more in control of the situation. Break down the material into manageable chunks and schedule regular study sessions. This way, you can avoid cramming and ensure that you have enough time to cover all of the material, and you’re not worried about what you have to do.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help you calm your mind and reduce stress. Take breaks during your study sessions to practice these techniques and use them to help you fall asleep at night. Getting a good night’s sleep is so underrated, and MUCH better than cramming.
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. Incorporate regular exercise into your study routine to help you feel more energized and focused. It doesn’t have to be a full workout. I’d go on a 10 minute run that would completely reset me.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential for managing stress and performing well on test day. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and also establish a regular sleep schedule to help your body get into a routine.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet can help you feel more alert and focused. Avoid eating a lot of sugary and other junk food, which a lot of us do when we’re stressed, but which can cause energy crashes and make it difficult to concentrate.
Reach Out for Support
For me, it’s been important to remember that you don’t have to go through this alone. Reach out to friends, family, or a teacher for extra help or support when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Taking time to talk to friends between studying can be really helpful.
I know it’s hard to stay positive when you’re facing these exams, but maintaining a growth mindset can help you stay motivated and focused. Instead of focusing on your mistakes or shortcomings, focus on your progress and the steps you can take to improve. Keep in mind that if you’re in the class, you’re capable of learning the material. Sometimes it’s easy to forget.
Good luck to everyone!