Arizona Daily Wildcat Online
Front Page
· Football
· Basketball
· Columnists
Live Culture
Police Beat
Online Crossword
Photo Spreads
Special Sections
The Wildcat
Letter to the Editor
Wildcat staff
Job Openings
Advertising Info
Student Media
Arizona Student Media info
UATV - student TV
KAMP - student radio
Daily Wildcat staff alumni

Cramming for finals leads to excessive student stress

By Erin Schmidt
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Print this

As classes end and exams begin, many students might be feeling the stress of finals week.

But if students adhere to a few tips, officials say they are more likely to ace the tests than stress over them.

"The first thing to do is not to wait too long to begin studying," said Michael Strangstalien, mental health clinician at UA's Counseling and Psychological Services. "Start preparing a little each day."

Strangstalien said that students need to be aware of their learning style and combine that with studying techniques.

"Be aware if you are a student who can study for four hours, you may only be able to study for one hour before you need a break," he said. "Your mind works better with multisensory things, such as writing, speaking out loud and taking notes."

Lauren Lund, a journalism sophomore, said she has a photographic memory, which helps her study.

"If I wrote it down in class, I usually just rewrite it," Lund said. "That is my way of studying."

Lund, who has three upcoming finals, said if she decides to study, she will probably do so right before the exam.

"If I decide to study, I usually pull all-nighters," she said. "Then as I am reading over my notes on my way to class, I stress out about how I should have studied before the exam."

Since exam week is fast approaching,

students are running out of time.

If that is the case, Strangstalien suggests that students prioritize so they can focus on learning the most important information.

"Make lists to help you," he said. "Focus on specifics and eliminate all distractions."

Setting realistic goals when studying can improve your results, Strangstalien said.

"All-nighters are not fun," he said.

For students dealing with longer study hours and added stress, a complete breakfast is also important, Strangstalien said.

Strangstalien recommended having a breakfast rich in complex carbohydrates from a fortified cereal or having dairy and meat for breakfast.

Many students who are going to be staying up late may reach for a hot cup of coffee or even a potent energy drink, but Strangstalien said caffeine should not be the answer.

"Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine won't allow you to self-focus and won't allow you to visualize doing well," he said.

Carey Almand, a pre-nursing sophomore said she relies on caffeine to help her study.

"I am not too stressed out," she said about her three upcoming finals. "I am not much of a studier, but when I do, I usually drink soda."

Soda may be the preferred beverage for students, but Strangstalien said that a lighter drink will help someone stay fresh and energized.

Hydrating yourself with water is very important, he said, just as important as following a regular exercise routine.

No matter what the exercise is, Strangstalien said it is important to get up and move around.

"Even taking a brisk walk to give your brain a break will help," he said.

Campus Health Services also offers free three-minute massages for those who cannot relax their muscles.

The free massages are offered Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Fridays from noon to 2 p.m.

Longer massages are also available. No appointment is necessary.

For those who just need to hit the books, the Main Library will be open 24 hours for finals week, beginning on Sunday, continuing until Friday.

As students begin to study and prepare for their final exams, Strangstalien said he wanted to stress the importance of thinking positively.

No matter how long you study for or how you do on your exams, it is important to remember that the anxiety and the stress will soon pass, Strangstalien said.

"It is easy to freak out," he said. "But remember, when this is all said and done, the certificate that will hang on the wall doesn't have your grades on it."

Write a Letter to the Editor
2,400 earn diplomas at winter graduation
Grads forge new ground
Fund boost leads to more honors classes
La Aldea residents unhappy
Stay up with UA Latenight
Cramming for finals leads to excessive student stress
Six students to win achievement awards
Say bye-bye to the Mall, hello to new PSU
Managing editor takes reins of Daily Wildcat
Police bust bars, parties, arrest
Program blends business, science
On the spot
Campus briefs
Police Beat
Restaurant and Bar guide
Search for:
advanced search Archives

Webmaster -
© Copyright 2003 - The Arizona Daily Wildcat - Arizona Student Media