As a student, this is my least favourite time of year. Summer break is just around the corner, but there is still a mountain of work that needs to get done before you get there. To make matters worse, the weather is improving every day, making the outdoors a tempting distraction from finishing your school year strong. We have hit the time of year that I like to call: the slog.

Now, I want to write about how this time of year is easy and how with, “these five simple tricks,” you can easily get through it. That would simply not be the truth. This is the time of year where successful students are distinguished from the unsuccessful ones. The highest percentage of your grades come from these short weeks and you are going to be busy, it’s not going to be easy and many people don’t succeed.

But you can succeed, not through simple tricks, not through life hacks. No. You are going to succeed through your hard work, your determination, your common sense and, most importantly, your willingness to slog.

This sheer determination is what is going to make you succeed, if you’ve made it this far in your term you are capable of doing this, you can do it successfully, and you will. This will not be a list of “helpful tricks.” This list is  key success factors, these things aren’t helpful, they’re crucial to succeeding in exams and getting through the slog.

Sleep

It’s almost cliche but sleep really is the most important thing you can do for yourself during exams. Sleeping long enough and on a regular schedule is so crucial for your success that this entire blog could be summed up in this paragraph. I hear it all the time, my fellow students staying up late to study and pulling all-nighters to cram their material in. This situation results, not from a busy schedule, rather from poor planning. If you use your daylight hours efficiently, there is no need to stay up into the late hours depriving yourself of sleep. Sleep makes the studying you do easier, better, faster and more efficient. It also keeps your head clear for exams and being well rested helps reduce your stress. 

Remove Distractions

Friends, your phone, video games, Netflix, music, etcetera, all this and more can distract you from focusing during your exam times. Any and all of these things are perfect for taking breaks but you should keep them away from yourself during your study sessions. Simply put, if you’re on your phone, you’re not studying, enough said.

Take Breaks

The importance of good breaks is often so overlooked in studying. Breaks are almost as important for getting through this slog as removing distractions when you are studying is. Giving yourself the headspace to actually process the information you took in while studying is key to your exam success. Also, good break taking means that you’ll be less stressed and more successful overall. Go for a run, see some friends, whatever helps you unwind best. Study hard and focused but then break and get your head out of the studying, then study more. Using small but frequent study sessions with good breaks in between will help you immensely. 

Remember that You’re Almost Done

It may seem like getting through this slog is incredibly difficult (and it is) but ultimately you can and will do it. Very soon you’ll be off on vacation or enjoying a summer job. For now, however, you need to buckle down and get to work. Get lots of sleep, don’t distract yourself and take good breaks. This slog only lasts a few weeks at most and then you can stay up as late as you want, binge on Netflix, and take time off. But for now, work hard and keep your eyes on the prize. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

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