What To StudyTips to Improve Performance Around Testing Time

Tips to Improve Performance Around Testing Time

Content Team
Content Team
Get essential news and information about international higher education from the i-STUDENTglobal content team.

Often, the times when we need to be at our best are also when it’s hardest to do so, such as during exams. That’s especially true for international students, who have the added anxiety of being in an unfamiliar setting.

Rather than allow stress to throw them off their game, there are steps they can take to help ensure they won’t be rattled. If you or someone you care about is studying abroad, take a look at the accompanying guide above for some tips that can help prepare you for whatever mental burdens testing time can bring.

Click on the slideshow below to check the top tips that can improve your performance around testing time:


Breathing Techniques


Science has proven that proper breathing techniques can help improve your ability to retain and recall information while studying and while taking an exam.

Pro Tips:

While studying: take a deep breath through your nostrils, then hold that breath for 3 to 5 seconds, then push the air out in a quick exhale for 1 to 2 seconds.

During exam time: if you are feeling stressed out, try deep breathing and hold your breath for 1 to 3 seconds at a time while taking the exam.

Proper rest


Sleep before an exam is crucial. Your mind responds quicker and better when it’s well rested, so there is no need to stay up all night trying to “cram” information. Make sure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep before an exam.

Pro Tips:

Make sure to set your alarm for 1 hour before you need to wake up – that way you can benefit from hitting the snooze button a couple of times so you can feel rested.



Researchers found that those who drink a bottle of water during exam time scored an average of 5% higher than those who did not. Dehydration can make you feel lethargic, irritable and tired.

Pro Tips:

Bring a bottle of water with you to your finals. Your brain will thank you!

Healthy Diet


The brain is one of the smallest organs in the body, but it uses up to 20% of the energy we need every day! The right food and drink can energise your system, improve your alertness and sustain you through long exam hours. On the other hand, the wrong dietary choices can make you feel sluggish and tired. Follow these simple tips to help you eat your way to success!

Pro Tips:

Don’t skip meals – especially breakfast. When you wake up, your body hasn’t had any food for several hours. Breakfast gives us the energy we need to start the day off right.

Opt for healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, popcorn, fruit scones, dried fruit, yoghurt or nuts to keep you going throughout the day.


Tips To Improve Performance Around Testing Time from MacCormac College

Author bio:
Dr. Kenya Grooms is a clinical psychologist and Dean of Student Affairs at MacCormac College, the oldest two-year, private, nonprofit institution in Illinois. MacCormac offers educational programs for court reporting, criminal justice, business administration and more. Dr. Grooms has written and presented about family life, international partnerships, personal resilience, support services for non-traditional students and many other topics in psychology.

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