Besides paying attention in class during the semester and studying before exam day, there are other ways to improve your chances of getting a good grade on each of your finals. Plus, they don’t really require any extra work. These tips before the big day and the morning or afternoon of will help you feel like your finals were a breeze. 1. Prep with good eats and great sleep. You’d be surprised how far a well-balanced meal the night before and the morning of can go when it comes to brain power. Instead of loading up on sugars from cookies and sodas, as most students are prone to do when they’re stressed, opt for whole grains, beans, and starchy fruits and vegetables. These types of food will provide your brain with the energy it needs to function and concentrate during your big exams. With that, getting at least eight hours of sleep is more vital to your test-taking than studying until 2 a.m. Instead, make a schedule for studying far in advance and keep to it so you can avoid the late-night cram session. 2. The day of, start with deep breaths. Before you put fingers to keypad or pencil to bubble sheet, take a deep breath. Stay calm. There is no benefit to finishing your test first – or just getting it over with as quickly as possible. If you come to a question that confuses you (or even scares you), again, take a deep breath. Stepping back from the test in this small moment can even bring to mind some of the material you covered during your study sessions. 3. Skip questions you don’t know the answer to and then go back. Don’t waste 20 minutes on one question. If there is one particular question that stumps you, put a star next to it and move on. You never know when another question, or just some time away from that question, may jog your memory. Also, most tests or final exams must be completed by the time the course or designated time is over. Better to miss one or two questions than 10 or 15. 4. Take time to check your answers before turning in your test. Finally, before you turn in your test, go back through the questions as well as your answers to ensure you read directions and answered correctly. It’s understandable that you would want to leave the test and all memories of it as soon as humanly possible, but it will pay off in the long-run to check your work. Following these simple exam-taking tips can make all the difference in the world as you prepare and take finals. In fact, they could be the difference between a bad or average score and a great one. Good luck, Fastwebbers!