Let’s face it – exams are a bummer. In order to ensure getting great marks, you might think about cheating, or even pulling some tricks to make your way through college. We’ve asked different students what they think about pre-exam superstitions. “Are there any rituals you perform one night before the exam?” we asked. While some of them were shocked we even thought about such thing, a wide majority answered our questions casually and very specifically.
Depending on where in the world you are living, you might hear different superstitions for “cracking” exams. They are really popular and give students a sense of assuredness and confidence. Even if not all of them are true, there are certain ones that work, according to popular opinion. Let’s take a look!
1. Buying the Strongest Coffee
“Whenever I have an important exam, I always buy the strongest Starbucks coffee,” Carrie Clark recognizes. She says coffee helps her concentrate, and stay focused on her exam.
Indeed, coffee is a great way to start your day, and it’s been proven that caffeine raises our concentration levels. Because it’s a stimulant, coffee also drives our attention up, and improves our short-term memory. By drinking coffee, we not only increase our positive moods, but also focus on our tasks better, Thus, even if for Carrie Clark “buying the strongest coffee” is a pre-exam superstition, coffee truly helps with students’ exam taking!
2. Eating Less Than Usually
One of the students we’ve interviewed, Jerry Johnson, says that eating less before his exams increases his efficiency. While starving yourself to death is not good either, it is true that eating less and more frequently can improve your outcomes.
- Smaller meals provide more energy to the body and brain
- A bigger breakfast is always recommended; however, before an early exam, you should only eat half of the usual quantity; if you are still hungry, eat more, but try to avoid feeling full
- Don’t eat snacks before an exam
- Drink lots of water and tea
- Get a coffee right before entering the class
If you stress too much about “eating properly,” you won’t do any good to your organism. Relax, eat the foods that you like, but try to keep the portions small and light.
3. Wearing Comfy Clothing
“I always wear sweatpants to all of my exams,” admits Annelise Orion during our interview. “I cannot wear jeans or any other type of clothing. It makes me uncomfortable, and I lose focus. Sweatpants are the best!”
Wearing comfy clothes is indeed highly recommended on your exam day. However, make sure you change the clothes you’ve studied in the night before. Using the same outfit indoors and outdoors might give you a feeling of relaxation and laziness. Thus, you won’t be able to perform as well as you would in another setting.
One of my very good friends, Andre, always tells me, “I don’t care what my children wear during their finals as long as they feel confident on themselves. I believe that feeling self-reliant is the most important thing. If my daughter wants to wear heels, I’ll let her wear heels. If my boy wants to wear long, swagy shirts, he might as well do that. Students should wear whatever they feel comfortable in during exams!”
4. Procrastination is The Key
One of my favorite interviews went like this. “Mrs. Longwood, are there any rituals you perform before an exam?” The answer shocked me, “Yes. I procrastinate.”
Asking Mrs. Longwood to explain her answer, she admitted that pressure makes her work harder and better. “I do not study until one day before my exams. Then, I know for sure I will do my best to give out the best results.”
While there is some truth in what Lindsey is saying, procrastinating isn’t everybody’s best friend. It can be really unproductive to leave all of your exam material for the last moment. However, if that works for you, don’t mind me! Do what you got to do in order to succeed.
5. Carrying Books Around
I was surprised to hear that some students carry their books with them to their exams. “Why?” I asked, truly interested in what was going on. One of the girls, Mary Ann, replied in a second. “Because it gives me a sense of confidence. If I have my books with me, I can check facts I don’t remember up to one second before the exam. That way, I know that I won’t miss anything.”
I asked Mary Ann if there were moments when she did not open any of her books, and she answered: “of course.” I believe it’s the thought that matters, but still: if it makes you confident, do it!
6. Choosing that “Special Item”
Some people love lucky charms, while others can’t test without their beloved pens. While I was in high-school, I could not pass any exam without my favorite tiara. It reminded me of my mom, and how strong she is. Choosing that “special item” can be challenging – it should be something of importance to you, something symbolic, yet truly powerful.
I asked around to see if anybody shared my opinion. There were many students approving of my superstition. One of the guys, Lee James, said, “I cannot leave the house without my favorite bracelet. If I do, I know I’m going to fail.”
7. Saying “I Love You”
One of the most interesting interviews I had ended up in an unexpected conversation. After asking Alyssa Smith what her superstitions are, she paused for a second, looked around to see if nobody was watching, and told me, “I always tell my parents that I love them right before an exam.”
When I asked her why, she said that it helps her feel better about herself, and it gives her an unexpected sense of confidence. So, peeps, don’t forget to tell your beloved ones how much you care about them if you want good grades!
We don’t know whether pre-exam superstitions work or not, but we do know that there’s some truth in all of them. Anyways, I am sure you are going to ace those exams, regardless of how you dress, or how much coffee you’ll drink. Stay focused, stay informed, stay present. Good luck!