Master Your Mindset: Stress Management Strategies for Finals

Master Your Mindset: Stress Management Strategies for Finals

Amy Noelle, a mental resilience coach with SOAR, recently presented a mindfulness workshop with stress management strategies to aid with the demands of finals. The workshop was presented in the Caritas Christi Center's wellness lounge.

As we launch into finals week amid the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, these test taking strategies can help master your mindset for optimal performance. 

1. Preparing 2-3 days before your test:

  • Ramp up your studying and get efficient.
  • Practice tests.
  • Feynman Technique - teach someone else the material.

2. Sleep well the night before your test:

  • The bottom line - whether you’ve studied enough or not, you’re still better off. Having a good sleep the night before a big test. 

3. Eat well on the day of your test:

  • Avoid sugar.
  • Have protein and complex carbs 2-3 hours before a test.

4. Show up ready and on time:

  • Make sure you’ve allowed plenty of time and know beforehand what you’re allowed to take into the test.
  • Avoid distractions. Stress is contagious, and no matter your state of preparation, you’re better off staying in your own headspace.
  • And then…relax.
  • Now, visualize. Visualize yourself calmly completing each question on the exam, feeling confident and creative.

5. Strategies for the exam room - it’s go time! Listen to instructions:

  • Know what is expected and listen for hints.
  • Brain dump - Write out all the things you’re worried you might forget.
  • Make your time plan.

6. Strategies to master your mindset:

  • The key to doing your best is having the right mindset and staying focused. Here are some test-taking strategies to optimize concentration and thinking.
  • Silence the inner critic: Remember, you don’t have to believe everything you think. Your best move is to recognize and then ignore this voice and get on with your exam.
  • Call your inner compassionate coach.
  • Breathe properly. Diaphragm breathing will make you feel calmer and more clear-headed. Your calmed brain will probably go ahead and retrieve for you that information you need.

7. Have perspective:

  • Remember that however dire the consequences of failing a written test are, they are never fatal. You’ll be okay in the end, and it's not yet the end if you’re not okay right now. Sometimes a quick change in perspective can give you the shift you need to relax and get your brain into gear.

8. After your test:

  • Savor that the test is over and refocus on the next test.
  • Do a self-assessment later.
  • Take thirty minutes that evening or the next day to sit somewhere quiet and do a self-assessment of your test. This is about you improving your overall performance, and it’s the kind of analysis that will help you do well on future tests.
  • Think about what you did well and what you could have done better, not only in how you answered questions but also in your exam mindset, study habits and overall enjoyment of the subject.

You've got this Eagles! 

SMCHS students are invited to access the following guided meditation links practice mindfulness and stress reduction:

  • principals blog


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