Exams are looming and you’ve probably started freaking out about your total lack of study and major levels of procrastination. Don’t let the stress make you forget about the obvious stuff though. When you’re overwhelmed it’s easy to start doing stupid shit just because you can’t get your head together, so to make sure you show up totally prepared on the morning of your first exam, we’ve written you a list.

1. Sleep

It’s tempting to pull an all-nighter to try and cram some last minute essay quotes or ancient history dates into your brain but it’s not worth it. While it seems like everyone is doing it, and it’s just a natural part of exam period, all-nighters aren’t actually going to help you all that much. It’s proven that your ability to recall information and keep concentrated are improved if you’re well rested. Sleep deprivation will just make you shitty, anxious and struggle to focus, so lay off the No Doz’s and get into bed.

2. Eat

Even if you normally skip breakfast or you’re feeling sick to your stomach, try and eat something before your exam. A decent meal will help you keep alert and push you through those three hour exams. While it’s recommended you eat something that has eggs, nuts, yogurt, cottage cheese or grains (your typical ‘brain foods’) if all you can manage is a couple of pieces of vegemite toast that’s okay too.

3. Get your stuff ready

Don’t give yourself something else to stress about by leaving packing your bag to the last minute. No doubt you’ll forget at least one key item so get everything ready the day before. Look over the rules of the exam so you don’t get caught out trying to bring in something you can’t (like a non clear drink bottle) and pack literally everything you could possibly use like pens, a calculator, a ruler, pencils and a highlighter. Even if it doesn’t relate to your exam for that day it’s good to have all your bases covered.

4. Set an alarm

And, get your mum or someone else to make sure you get up in the morning. Especially if you’re exhausted from studying the night before, it can be easy to sleep through an alarm. Set a couple of alerts and ask your friends to text you in the morning to check that you’re alive and on the way to your exam.

5. Check the timetable

Check the exam timetable. Check it again. Check the time and place of your exam. Ask your friends to double check it for you. Print it out and stick it up on your wall. Don’t do this for the first time on the morning of the exam- you want to be dead certain of the details before the day. Then, make sure you plan to leave early to account for anything that might delay you on the way.

6. Stay away from stressed people

Maybe you’re one of those people that thrive off people freaking out but if you’re not (like most of the student population) try to avoid anyone who is majorly stressing. You need to be in the best mindset possible and trying to cope with people muttering random quotes from their essay or crying right outside the exam doors isn’t going to help.

7. Focus on you

There’s no point worrying about how much everyone else has studied or if your mate really didn’t look at his notes at all over the past month. There’s no point stressing about the girl that is looking over her colour coded, handwritten and highlighted study guides right before you walk in or the guy who knows his creative writing piece off by heart. You need to focus on you and the knowledge you have without taking into account everyone else.

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