1. Get some sleep. Seriously. Staying up for days is completely unhealthy. I shouldn’t have to remind you of all the negative consequences that happen to your body when you’re sleep-deprived. Adequate sleep is essential for learning and memory. I personally aim for at least 7 hours of sleep a night to keep myself well-rested and ready to go (ham).
2. Wake up early. I feel like the later I wake up in the morning, the more sluggish I am the rest of the day. If this also applies to you, I suggest getting up by 8 am. I know, this may seem difficult at first, but if some students have to rise and shine for their 8 am classes then I don’t see any reason why you can’t, too. Don’t waste half your day sleeping!
3. Make a schedule. I personally make a list of tasks for each day of RRR week to keep my thoughts organized. Prioritize the material. What are you most/least confident on? What will take the longest to go over? For exams that require pure memorization, it would be best to review for a few hours each day, especially at night before bed to aid memory retention.
4. Attend review sessions. Most professors and GSIs tend to have review sessions during RRR week where they answer questions and review lecture content. Go to them! You may be at a disadvantage for not going. Also, check out organizations like BioEHS or the SLC. They may be offering review sessions and mock exams as well.
5. Put yourself on a reward system. Breaks are obviously important, but you’ll need to earn them! I like setting out a nice treat for myself after completing a task. It forces me to actually study, knowing that there’s something there waiting for me! I know this may be silly, but it’s so easy to lose focus and motivation so just try it!
Most importantly, stay positive. Don’t lose focus. Tell yourself over and over again that you’re going to get a score above what you can reasonably achieve. Envision yourself sitting in that exam room and confidently answering the questions after studying for countless hours. That’s half the battle right there. Good luck!