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How to Prevent Stress During Midterms/Finals

WRITTEN BY Karlen Kardoush

When it comes to midterms or finals, it is an undoubtedly stressful time. Students often find themselves waiting until the very last minute and cramming for exams, which causes them to become very overwhelmed and stressed. 

After the exams, it is likely students think about how it would have been better to avoid this unnecessary stress. 

A few UT students described what they do to be proactive about studying and how they handle stress.

Use a planner daily

Writing out what you have to do and when you have to do it will allow you to physically see your to-do list. This will help you manage your time wisely and schedule exactly when you will work on which assignment or project. 

Anna Dupree, senior at UT, described why she likes using a planner for her daily organization.

“Crossing off completed assignments in my planner is such a feeling of relief,” Dupree said.

“It is kind of addicting. It motivates me to finish assignments just so I can cross them off my list.”

Start studying a couple of weeks in advance 

This will help you avoid cramming. Starting early and spacing out studying will help you prevent that night-before the exam meltdown. 

It will also help you retain the information better as your mind has had the proper amount of time to really digest the information. When you study regularly, the mind typically is able to actually absorb the content rather than just trying to memorize it the night before.

Do not compare yourself to other classmates 

Do your best. Your best might be different from your friend’s best, and that is okay.

Students oftentimes compare grades with classmates or friends, and although this is common, it is not always good for you mentally.   

Take breaks 

Go for walks, hang out with friends, watch an episode of your favorite TV show, drink hot tea, take a hot shower or treat yourself to a sweet treat.

After the work you have been putting in, you deserve it.


This is crucial. Study ahead of time to skip the evening coffee and 4:00 a.m. studying. 

Multiple studies have shown that students who have gotten more sleep before exams have done statistically better than those who stayed up most of the night studying. Prioritize your sleep and try to get around seven to nine hours if possib