Fanshawe students prepare for exam season

Exam season can be stressful – but it doesn’t have to be.

Exam season is right around the corner (April 17 to 21), and students of Fanshawe College are preparing for one of the most stressful times in their educational careers.

Office administration student Karalynn Adam said she deals with stress by reading.

“I read mostly romance novels but I also like mysteries,” she said.

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When it comes to studying, Adam stated that it is important to understand and rewrite your notes multiple times.

“I write down all my notes again over again, and then I read through them, and then I try to memorize them,” she said. She also suggested that students make cue cards and quiz themselves with the information they wrote down.

Although exams can be a stressful time, there are professors here at Fanshawe who are trying to remedy this. Gina Lorentz is the head of the journalism - broadcast program and stated that it is within every student to reach their highest potential.

“I do a little bit of extra help with reminders when assignments are due,” she said. “You’re starting out in college getting used to juggling all of the different classes and what the expectations are. I think having very clear expectations of what the assignment is asking you us really important so there’s not a lot of guesswork.”

The journalism - broadcast program that Lorentz runs does not contain a final exam and instead focuses on projects and assignments.

“I think it’s benefiting our students simply because of our program. There are other programs where there’s certifications or certain expectations for writing a final exam because there’s a specific certification in journalism. And in this program, you’re acting as a journalist in the community every day, so you’re kind of constantly doing work, especially in your second year and in first year.”

For students who do have exams this time of year, Fanshawe counsellor Matthew Brown offered some advice for students dealing with stress and anxiety.

“If I have a student coming in reporting test anxiety, what are their sleeping habits like? What are their eating habits, what do they do for self-care? How are they studying?”

Brown added that cramming for hours to prepare for exams is not the best practice and can lead to more stress.

“You’re not letting it process, you’re not letting it rest, letting it heal,” Brown said.

Brown said that it is important to have good sleeping and eating habits and that getting minimal sleep and drinking lots of caffeinated products will bring more stress and anxiety. When talking about mental health relating to your education, he insisted on having good study habits. These can be connecting with your professors, having a study group or being tutored. “Just really informing them and building their awareness of what’s available to them as well as what are some important and strategies that might be worth trying.”

Brown had a very important message for the students of Fanshawe about their final exams and projects.

“Be kind to yourself, and I say that because students are so hard on themselves and they are so caught up with the marks and the grades. And yes, while those are crucial and important, they’re not everything.”