Don’t Stress About that D, You’ll Ace Your Next Exam

The fall semester is about one-third of the way over now and the results from your first exams are in. Did you get a grade lower than expected? Are you stressing out about future exams? Don’t worry, if you received a low grade or even failed your first exam, Valley has you covered on how to recover from the first one and ace the next.

Don’t dwell on the grade

Don’t blame yourself. Dwelling on the grade hinders you from taking what didn’t work for you and figuring out what does. Most professors allow the lowest exam grade to be dropped. However, if your professor isn’t as forgiving, simply view the exam as a test run. The first exam teaches us about the exam format, and how the professor words the questions, which helps us figure out how to study for future exams.

Study in moderation

If an exam is on a Thursday, start reviewing notes on Monday and work in sections. If you have difficulty with a certain concept or chapter, focus on that a few days in advance so you can fully understand it before the exam. It helps to avoid the stress that cramming may cause, which will lead to a happier you.

Take breaks

Watch an episode of your favorite show when you are starting to feel restless. When you take a break and use that time to process the information, you’ll avoid feeling overwhelmed once you get back into the flow of studying.

Study guide

If your professor is nice, he/she will provide you with a study guide, or allow you to have a cheat sheet for the exam. If your professor doesn’t provide a study guide, create your own by using the notes from lectures and readings. If your professor allows for a cheat sheet, try to put things that you find most difficult to understand, that way if you forget it on the day of the exam, you can look over and find the answer.

Email the professor with any and all questions

Professors put that email on the syllabus for a reason: they want to help you. Email the professor a few days before the exam with any questions you may have, or just ask them what you should focus on for the exam. Avoid emailing them the night before since they are probably getting drowned in emails from students who only attended the first class of the semester.

Remember to treat yo’ self

After following our tips to recover from your low grade, there is no doubt that you will get the grade you deserve. Once you step out of the classroom, go get some ice cream at the creamery, shop for a cute top, or even get a Pumpkin Spice Latte to celebrate your hard work.

It’s all about trial and error, and if one of our tips doesn’t work for you, you can always switch it up to find what will work best. Always remember to balance out work and play to keep your spirits up and stress level down. You got this!