Exams? Cue the anxiety and despair. With the first semester coming to a close, most students are stressing over the upcoming exams and the looming semester grades. Many things other than studying work hand in hand to develop a grade, and since exams are right around the corner, students will need to maintain healthy habits to improve their exam performance. Over the years, studies have shown that a healthier diet, more exercise, more sleep, relaxation, and study breaks can help improve exam scores and overall wellness.
Yes, that addictive bag of Doritos is practically asking to be eaten, but choosing better snack foods will be more rewarding. Studies show consuming less nutritious or processed food produces the stress hormone cortisol, which can impair learning, listening, memorization skills, and impulse control. Healthier choices like fruits and vegetables are more likely to improve scores than unwholesome choices like chips or sugary foods. Also, eating a good breakfast in the morning is also crucial because it sets up the day with necessary nutrition and can improve memory, which is a necessity for achieving better scores on exams. Despite the brief moments of joy from eating a bag of Doritos, more lasting happiness will be eating healthful food that can help exam scores.
Exercising does more than simply improving physical shape; it can also improve emotions and brain function. When exercising, blood gets pumping through the body and provides more oxygen for the brain, which makes for better-nourished brain tissue. BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and other brain cells are also produced from working out, and they play a big part of brain function. For instance, BDNF creates and sustains neurons, and dentate gyrus (a brain cell) increases memorization ability. Although it is often hard to make time during exams, even thirty minutes will be worth it, especially because of the wonderful learning that it promotes.
The last major factor for exam week is sleep. Recent research has shown that students who get seven hours or more of sleep at night do roughly ten percent better on tests than those who get less than that. The proper amount of sleep improves thinking ability and helps bring a less clouded state of mind. Even though extra late-night studying is important, getting a decent amount of sleep is more important. A study by the University of California, Los Angeles shows that students who stay up late cramming are more likely to have academic problems the next day.
Although exam week is a stressful time, practicing healthy habits and studying hard will be rewarding in the end. There is definite satisfaction in receiving an outstanding grade and knowing that those hours of hard work paid off. Whether it’s getting more sleep, eating better food, or exercising more frequently, your overall grades will thank you in the end for the time spent working to improve them.