December 9, 2018 by Eileen Jiao

With finals just around the corner, we begin to ask, how can I successfully ace my upcoming exams and how do I keep my cool under all the stress? PBSN is here to supply you with some answers by providing tips and tricks which will result in you surviving and thriving this exam season!

December marks not only the end of classes but also the beginning of exam season. For students at Western, the upcoming weeks are seemingly to be filled with stress, anxiety, coffee, late night cramming sessions, and exhaustion. Finals is, notably, the most difficult aspect of university, with poorly scheduled exams and the sheer amount of studying required, makes conquering finals is no easy feat. In attempts to survive exam season, you can be found focusing all your efforts on your next exam sacrificing your mental well-being for that coveted grade. With effective studying habits and proper mental health care, your first exam season can be a successful one. PBSN is here to introduce you to a variety of tips and insight from upper years to help you conquer exam season!


Exams can be an extremely stressful time, and as a result your mental health can be negatively affected. Ironically, students put their mental health on the back burner, in hopes of putting more effort and resources into studying, when in reality this system more than likely hinders you from getting the best mark possible. Being stressed while studying has proven to have many negative impacts like impeding your memory and results in poor performance on your exam. Prioritizing your mental health during finals WILL make a difference with your success this exam season, which can be done through effective studying techniques.


Give your brain time to rest and relax this exam season! Taking breaks decreases stress and increases focus when returning to your studies. This is one of Bhapushon Thayalan’s, VP Communications, favourite technique during exam season to deal with stress.

“Take time to do the things you love and make you feel better about yourself, whether it be working out, going out for dinner, or facetiming your parents. These positive experiences are what make exam season bearable and will motivate you to keep going.”

Exercising, watching a youtube video or an episode on Netflix, baking, hanging out with friends, or even taking a minute to take three deep breaths are all possible ways to include breaks this exam season! Each individual is different, so pick what works best for you!


Horrific exam schedules? Two exams in the same day? Three consecutive days of exams? It appears to be impossible to conquer exam season with finals seemingly scheduled to induce stress. To combat this difficult exam season, creating schedules and timelines will be your lifesaver. Setting an agenda for what needs to be accomplished for the next few days can ensure productivity and once completed, it can provide a sense of accomplishment and relief. This method prevents you from being overwhelmed the night before your exam and can ensure preparedness for your next exam. For Matt Pereira, VP of Careers, this is his go-to finals hack. He creates schedules but never forgets to incorporate breaks!

“Make a study schedule that outlines when you are going to study for each of your courses, and build in time for activities you enjoy (like Netflix). This way you don’t feel lost or overwhelmed, and still take time to do things you enjoy”

Creating a schedule will prove to be beneficial this exam season, so take out that agenda and begin planning out your exam season!


It is extremely easy to fall into the routine of staying up late, cramming as much information as you possibly can the night before your exam, but this can have negative effects on both your mental health and your performance on your exam. Eileen Jiao, VP of Student Affairs, never forgets to get a enough rest during exam season in order to mitigate her stress!

“No matter how stressed I get, I really like to get at least 6-7 hours of sleep each night so that I feel rejuvenated the next time and motivated to study again. It really has helped me stay effective and productive!”

If you find yourself not getting enough sleep try to take naps during the day so your brain can get the rest it deserves!


Your brain is under a tremendous amount of stress during exam season and as such, it needs fuel to meet the demands of exam season! Skipping meals is detrimental to your mental health and hinders your ability to study effectively. Eating three well-balanced meals throughout the day will prove to have positive impacts and both your physical and mental health. Grabbing a piece of fruit or eating healthy snacks throughout the day will make the biggest difference this exam season!


As we all know, distractions are our number one enemy this exam season. We have all accidentally found ourselves scrolling through Twitter for 20 minutes, when originally we meant to search up notes online. Getting rid of distractions can help improve your productivity and your time can be used more efficiently. Deactivating social media during exam season, or downloading apps like Freedom, which blocks access to social media for a certain number of hours, are just some ways of getting rid of those distractions. For Shreya Singh, Co-VP of Projects, this is one of her favourite finals hack.

“Delete distractions and turn your phone to grayscale so you never want to look at it!”

If you know what distracts you the most, whether it be the internet, a video game, or even your friends, make sure to place yourself away from these distractions (Weldon is open 24 hours during exam season) to ensure you are focused during exam season!

Exams are, no doubt, a difficult time. It requires a tremendous amount of time and effort but don’t forget to take care of yourself! With these suggestions, you CAN be successful this exam season and maintain a healthy mental well-being! Remember, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and PBSN wishes you luck this exam season!

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