Preparing for the final month


Photo Credit; Macy Fowler

Macy Fowler

The month of May brings plenty of tests and loads of stress for each student. With finals creeping up, it is easy to let stress override the next few weeks, but it can be eased. According to the American Psychological Association, teens reported their stress levels at a 5.8 on a 10 point scale throughout the year. With testing can come test anxiety, which is when students blank during a test. The American Test Anxieties Association, or better known as AMTAA, reported that 16%-20% of students experience high test anxiety, while 18% are faced with moderately-high test anxiety. Test anxiety reduces the working memory, increases mistakes, and confuses reasoning, all of which affect the students’ grade. If you are curious about your level of test anxiety, you can take this quiz. Students can go most of their high school career without being bombarded by test anxiety, but it can seriously affect those who have it. Many create their own ways to relieve stress, whether they are in school or at home, but here are some tips to ease stress and study for finals.

It can be difficult to take a walk for fresh air or do yoga while in a testing environment, but there are a few ways to relieve stress while in class. Deep breathing, getting a drink of water, and chewing gum are the simplistic techniques. If teachers allow beverages in the room, bring calming teas like chamomile, green, lavender, peppermint, and lemon balm. A technique that is helpful with easing anxiety is the 4-7-8 breathing exercise. First, take a deep breath in through your nose while counting to four, hold the breath for a count of seven, and then exhale for a count of eight. Also known as the Relaxing Breath, it is a simple exercise that can be done until anxiety has been eased.

Tips to relieve stress at home are slightly different from those at school, but just as helpful. Nicole Alvarado, a counselor at Fossil Ridge High School, said, “I think the best thing you can do to de-stress is to focus on the basics of taking care of yourself. Getting a good night’s sleep, eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, and getting outside in the sun are ways to meet one’s basic needs. Being outside can help your serotonin and endorphins increase, making you feel more alive! Focusing on the fundamentals provides a solid foundation so that students have the energy to study and plan for finals.”

Studying for finals can be a boring and stressful task, especially when cramming information the night before. With a few tips and strategies to study, it could ease the stress and lessen the procrastination. According to Fastweb, start studying early as a way to avoid delaying it. Create a list of finals from easiest to hardest and prioritize study time. Two of the most important things to do are create a schedule and make sure there are breaks in said schedule. Color code notes from most to least important and study things that might not have been a part of the review guide. Most importantly, make it fun. Get together with friends, make a Quizlet or Kahoot, or even come up with a catchy song from the topic’s notes. Nicholas Peterson, another counselor at Fossil, added onto some of the studying tips. “I’d also suggest for students to pace themselves and spread out studying. It’s also good to study with friends, it’s way more fun and people learn better when quizzing and teaching each other.”

Just remember Fossil, after finals comes summer break. As Mrs. Alvarado said, focus on taking care of yourself. Study hard and make sure to be prepared for these upcoming weeks.