Article by Melissa Dy
Photo by Yoonhee Tian
Video by BTV
It seems like just yesterday the school year started, and already it is a matter of mere weeks until the end of the year. And with the year’s end comes comes every student’s worst nightmare: final exams.
The juniors are particularly anxious as they will be having their first taste of the IB exams before they experience the real deal next year, when college acceptance will hinge on whether or not they get their predicted scores. Therefore, it is imperative that they are on the ball come exam day. The Junior finals are also much more difficult than the Freshman and Sophomore finals in that there is much more content to revise compared to ever before. Junior Shine Chin has mixed feelings, and says that she is “super, super scared but somewhat prepared,” but admit that she fears “missing the test entirely because [she] got the time wrong”.
Then, there are the Freshmen. These will be their first final exams, and they’re definitely feeling the heat. Both Janel Perez and Emma Stewart are anxious about the time limit. Janel finds herself wishing that time would slow down, while Emma says that while “slow and steady wins the race,” that may not apply if the race has a time limit on it. However, on studying and preparing, Calvin Zhang offers some sage advice: “Just do it”. Wise words, indeed.
However, many students, if not most, ‘just do it’ the day before their exam. The exams exist at the back of their head for weeks, and preparing is something they should do but know they won’t. All of a sudden, it’s exam day and they don’t understand a thing on their test paper.
What can be done to avoid staring at your exam paper in horror? Shine advises to “find your most studious and serious friend and ask them into your study group. Their silent working will force you to follow their lead.” Sophomore Cristina Catterton recommends setting your phone to airplane mode, and using Morphine (the app, not the drug) or StayFocusd to block certain distracting websites on your computers to avoid getting sucked into a black hole of procrastination.
Another way to get those productivity juices flowing is simply to start the task, as the brain is compelled to finish tasks that have already been started. Willpower is a finite resource, so using time management techniques can really give you that added boost. Additionally, splitting up the work time into long periods of intensive study where you focus on the hardest tasks, with short breaks in between, has been shown to increase efficiency and productivity.
At the end of the day, the only way to really get studying is through organization and time management. So although there is little else one would rather do than read superbly-written Bamboo Telegraph articles, it might be time to hit the books.
Source: “The Science of Productivity.” YouTube. YouTube, 12 Dec. 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHfjvYzr-3g>.