OzTREKK Ambassadors: How to master exam time
Throughout my time studying medicine at JCU, I’ve tried to “master” the exam period and find the best and most efficient way to get through it.
Exam time is scary and stressful, and overall, not that fun. Honestly, it’s the most intense time of the year.
Have I perfected it? Of course not. But I have established a few things that make it way easier to get through.
Get Your Shuteye
The first and definitely my most favourite is sleep. Sounds simple, but it genuinely affects everything. With enough sleep, you’re able to maximize study time and make it the most effective it can be. Although there is an opinion that running on four hours of sleep and Red Bull makes you the best med student there is, that is unfortunately not the truth. Sure, a few days without enough sleep is fine, but exhaustion builds and eventually you’ll crash so hard and won’t be able to do anything about it.
Next is food. I love food, but during exam time I almost forget it exists and switch my regular meals out for coffee or a granola bar. I’ve personally found that I am the most productive when I’m not thinking about my growling stomach. Of course, I still enjoy the unhealthy food of a 10 piece Maccas nugget meal, but I also try to prioritize eating the veggies and the proteins and anything that will support the hard work my brain is doing.
Lastly, and probably the one I lack the most, is exercise. It is scientifically proven that exercise increases all the good hormones and even increases memory. How convenient during exam time, eh? I have also started finding alternative ways to add in a little exercise. Instead of a full blown workout, I play basketball with my friends or go for a walk and call people from back home to catch up. I try to fit it in, but of course sometimes I get slack.
Overall, I think the best advice I can provide is that you only have to do it for two weeks a semester. If you’re not perfect throughout that time, it’s okay! You have to prioritize your mental and physical health together with the study aspect.
I understand the difficulty behind it, I do it all the time; however, often throughout the stress I’ll sit down and rethink what I need to do and what I need to fix. Maybe that night I’ll do a face mask or make a good hearty meal but I still try my hardest to take care of myself.
All in all, you got this, study hard, and be kind to yourself.