Student Care Network offers resources as finals approach

The Student Care Network, in collaboration with a variety of campus partners, offers resources and services to help students prepare for final papers, examinations and presentations. Here are some resources, tips and strategies to help you do your best this exam season.

Academic well-being and finals prep resources

  • Center for Student Wellbeing
    • CSW Drop-In Coaching
      • Meet with a CSW coach to discuss concerns impacting your academic success, including stress management, time management, organization skills or positive coping strategies.
    • CSW Finals Prep Workshops
      • Join a CSW academic coach to gain learning strategies and skills—and how to apply them—to your studies in preparation for finals.
        • Nov. 29, 3–4 p.m., virtual
        • Dec. 2, 2:30–4 p.m., CSW classroom, Finals Game Plan. Make a plan for getting through finals while enjoying game day snacks.
      • Writing Studio
        • At the Writing Studio, you have the opportunity to meet individually with trained consultants to talk about any writing project or concern.
      • STEM Tutoring
        • Meet with a talented staff of tutors, either individually or in a group setting, who will help you enhance your academic performance through the power of collaborative learning. Tutoring staff are qualified to tutor many intro- and intermediate-level courses in biological sciences, chemistry (general and organic), economics, mathematics, neuroscience and physics.
        • The School of Engineering offers virtual STEM tutoring through the Penji Tutoring App for all undergraduate students, regardless of school.
      • GPAS (Graduate and Postdoc Academic Success) program
        • The GPAS program assists Graduate School students and postdoctoral scholars in their academic and professional development during their time at Vanderbilt. This program was created to support students and postdocs through collaborative consultations and group programming around effective time and stress management, resilience, conflict resolution, navigating academic relationships and juggling work/life responsibilities.
      • English Language Center
        • The ELC offers resources for multilingual students to help you achieve the most from your Vanderbilt experience. Programming includes one-to-one consultations for speaking, pronunciation and writing.
      • Student Access
        • We encourage you to reach out to Student Access if you feel that you may need accommodations for upcoming exams.
      • UCC Drop-In Consultations provide easy access to informal, confidential and free consultations with clinicians from the UCC and offer another space where students can receive support around test-taking strategies, task prioritization and sleep hygiene.
        • On Thursdays from 10 to 11 a.m., the UCC offers virtual drop-in consultations for neurodiverse and disabled students. Students who are looking for academic well-being support in accordance with those parts of their identities are welcome to attend.

Tips for exam preparation

  • Make a plan: The feeling of being overwhelmed by final exams and papers can often make doing any of the work seem impossible. Start by making a list of everything you need to do and when it has to happen, then map out a daily plan to get it done. Be specific to the day, but not to the minute.
  • Spaced practice: When you’re making this plan, remember that breaking up study time is more effective for learning than working in large chunks. Rather than spending five hours the day before an exam, consider an hour a day each day leading up to it. Obviously, your specific numbers will vary. We also tend to learn more deeply by moving between several topics in a single study session rather than focusing on just one thing for a long time, and by changing up the order each time those intermingled topics are reviewed.
  • Don’t lose track of well-being behaviors: Sleep is not wasted time. Sleep is when your brain consolidates all of that learning you’re doing—and only when you’re well-rested will you have access to retrieve all of it. Maintain your usual exercise routine. Reserve time to connect with family and friends, too—even if it’s virtually. These practices fuel us through challenging times.
  • Make a plan for your written assignments: When it comes to completing your final essay assignments for the semester, the Writing Studio’s advice is to give yourself enough time to finish a draft, set it aside for a bit, then read it over later with fresh eyes. If you have time, share it with a friend or schedule a Writing Studio appointment for feedback. If not, take the time to read the draft aloud to yourself. You might be surprised how much it helps!

Additional resources for managing test stress

  • CSW Meditation and Yoga
  • Headspace is a great resource available to Vanderbilt students to help reduce stress, improve focus, improve sleep and engage in mindful movement exercises.
  • The Rec Center offers several ways to get active, including:
    • Group fitness
    • Dance classes
    • Weekly exercise challenges

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