The 10 Stages Of Studying For An Exam

No one can get through college without taking one hell of an exam that sucks the soul out of you and takes over your life. Everyone knows how it feels when you don’t know how you’re going to do, convinced that flunking it is the only outcome. The solution? Studying. Is the studying effective? Well…that’s another story. So what really happens when studying for an exam? Read on to find out!

Stage 1: ill-advised relaxed approach/procrastination

It’s so early in the year you feel like you don’t even have to focus on the exam! Take some half assed notes, forget to study, have one too many wild nights, whatever. You still got time, right? You can study later.

Stage 2: Breakdown #1

Panic sets in when you realize the exam is actually SO MUCH CLOSER than you thought. Where did the time go? Last time you even thought of the exam was so long ago and now it’s just 2 days away. In 48 hours you have to salvage all your notes and attempt to study something you don’t care about or don’t understand because that’s college for you and there’s no getting around it. Homer Babbitch is gonna be your new best friend for the next few days…

Stage 3: group studying

So you attend a review session and sleep through it, or you try to leech of some other classmates who actually payed attention and understand your professor. Maybe leeching off of everyone else will help you be able to relax a little and study less.

Stage 4: Break Down #2

You realize there’s people who ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND THE CLASS and you’re screwed because you know NOTHING. An existential crisis ensues because now you’ll fail this exam which means you’ll fail this class which means you won’t be able to complete your requirements which means you won’t graduate which means you’ll dishonor your family and end up in your mom’s basement playing Fortnight 24/7 because you didn’t bother studying for an exam. Wait that actually doesn’t sound that bad…

Stage 5: procrastinating to avoid your problems

Post-existential crisis you realize this may not be too bad, therefore you can relax a bit and take a break to do something else. You go to something like swing and blues for the first time because you’re convincing yourself that exercise helps to study. You don’t even know what you’re doing but anything to avoid studying that pile of numbers, formulas, and facts you won’t ever need after this exam.

Stage 6: stress eating and stocking up on food

It’s a hard exam, you’ve been studying hard (not really), and now you deserve a huge plate of fries, a gallon of ice cream, and too many bags of candy to count. It’s like PMS-ing, but for exams. You’re convinced you need 3000 Calories in one day because brainpower requires a lot of energy when it comes to studying for an exam.

Stage 7: Breakdown #3

This is when you question why you even chose your major or this class in the first place. You’re contemplating quitting school and becoming a janitor because that’s what the future holds since you can’t accomplish this one class. Food and notes everywhere, crying in the library, you know the drill. Everyone has seen this one public breakdown in the library and can relate.

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Stage 8: Talking to the professor

Maybe you’re asking for a less harsh grading, or extra help, or trying to get the professor to tell you the exact content of the exam. You’re desperate, and your professor knows it. After not even bothering to go to office hours until now, looking for last minute help isn’t going to help you much in studying for an exam, but you do it anyway in hopes that perhaps one little bit of sympathy will go a long way. Sleeping with the professor seems to have helped some people, and you think of trying it because you’re that pathetically desperate. (But seriously: don’t do it.)

Stage 9: The Homestretch

Here’s the all-nighters fueled by Monster, 5 Hour Energy, and any stimulant you can get your hands on to stay up and focus on cramming as much information in you as possible. 9 chapters in one night? Not possible but you can try. Your efforts are both applauded and pitied by fellow students.

Stage 10: Defeat

One hour before the exam, after a whole night of cramming, you realize you’ve learned and remembered nothing. You’re screwed, so you give up and leave it up to chance. If you fail, you fail. At this point you don’t care anymore.

RIP to everyone who has one killer exam ahead of you. Remember, it’s not the end of the world, and you will get through this! Good luck to all with your exams! You’ll need it! What are your best methods for studying for an exam? Tell us your secrets!
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