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A Week Before an Exam: Steps Planned for You

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Having a week before an exam sounds like a lot of stress. You might feel chaotic and lost because of the fear of failure. Well, first of all, manage your anxiety, take several breaths, and realize that you have 7 more days! Let’s plan your journey day by day.

Day 1: Organize and Plan

Take a look at all the material you have to learn and review. Don’t read anything yet, just organize it by priority. Determine which topics are the most difficult for you, which are more likely to get you in trouble. You will later start with those topics.

Determine how many themes you can go through in one sitting, remembering those priorities. Create a plan based on that, but consider this algorithm:

  1. General topics;
  2. Details;
  3. Out-of-the-textbook stuff.

Dividing the material into these three categories will help you go over the main concepts several times. The process becomes deeper day by day, so you won’t be overwhelmed with the info overload.

Day 2: Review of General Topics and Main Points

Take out all your notes and textbooks. If you don’t have any of those, let’s hope you have buddies that will help you out. Review the general information, the main terms and concepts. Write them down in theses, so you can review again anytime.

Include your coursework in the list of material to go through. In case you’ve used a “do my essay” online service like DoMyEssays, go over the paper twice. You’ll find a lot of useful insight you might have missed or forgotten.

Day 3: Review the Details

Time to get deeper into those main concepts of the subject. That’s a lot to do, but getting ready for an exam in a week requires some effort and commitment.

Go over the notes and textbooks again, but get into the details this time. Pay attention to lists, narrower terms and their definitions, categories, etc. If you have a manual or you’ve taken structured notes during lectures, those will help amazingly.

Take advantage of highlighting the things you find important. After you’re done, write them down beside the main concepts you noted down the day before.

Day 4: Review the Outside Questions/Tasks/Tests

Some exams may contain surprises “for the attentive ones”. If not, this step will still provide you with useful details you can impress with during your exam if you have a chance. Things to go through include:

  • Stuff the teacher emphasized that wasn’t in the book;
  • Extra assignments;
  • Extra homework.

Add all the valuable stuff to the document you’ve created on day 2.

Day 5: Combine the Material and Review Again

Now that you’ve recalled the general concepts, their descriptions and details, as well as the extra work you’ve done, time to combine it all. It may be a lot for you to comprehend, but hang in there, you’re in for a treat the next day.

So, time to work with the document you’ve been using to write down everything worth reviewing. Give it a structure with highlighters or any kind of tricks you use. Another great idea is creating a list, like an essay outline. But it will take more time, so suit yourself.

Read everything again, maybe read it to a study buddy. You can also try to explain each other the concepts you have difficulty remembering and understanding.

Day 6: Have a Rest

You heard it right, having a good rest is just as important as the effort you put into the reviewing. Relaxation and taking a break from all the studies will help you prevent test anxiety, at least to some extent.

Besides, your brain needs some time to sort all the information out. Try not to think much about the exam, make it a calm, relaxed, restoring day off. Your professor won’t like this piece of advice, but consider even taking a day off school in case you don’t have anything important.

Here are some ideas for an awesome stress-less day off:

  • Go outside and walk around, go to your favorite places in town, have lunch with friends, talk to them, enjoy their company;
  • Stay at home/dorm, order some nice food, watch a good movie or two;
  • Make it a SPA day, because self-care should be one of the priorities;
  • Sleep as much as you may need, go work out or attend a group class, sweat the stress out, go outside in the evening to wind down.

Pick and mix any of these into a perfect day off.

Day 7: Review the Main Points and Go to Sleep

No pressure, you can have some extra sleep, go through your morning routine, etc. When you’re done, take out the final notes you’ve made at the beginning of the week. Go through them a couple of times, and during the second time, only read the concept and try to explain it to yourself.

A nice tip here is to do this final review with a study buddy (or buddies). You’ll be able to fill each other’s gaps if there are any left.

Don’t overdo it and go to sleep early. You’ll need to be fresh and rested on the D-Day!

Additional Tips on How to Go Through This Week

It’s a lot of work for a week, but if you want to pass, you have to put all you have into this preparation. Here are some of the tips to help you go through it:

  • Make this exam a priority, delay doing other homework and assignments. In case you need to hand something in during this week, consider using online writing services;
  • Take a walk every evening, alone or with a friend. Don’t make it a party, just walk around, maybe go somewhere for a cup of coffee to relax;
  • Do your best to sleep at least 7 hours a night. You won’t be able to comprehend information if you’re sleep-deprived and exhausted.

Alright, now you’re fully armed for that exam. Be sure, calm, and confident, and you’ll pass it with flying colors!

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.