When finals season approaches, stress and anxiousness often follow close behind. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, approximately 30% of college students report that stress has negatively affected their academic performance, and 85% of college students report feeling overwhelmed balancing courses, work, a social life and more. Use the tips below to combat stress and #FindZen in studying.

1. Take Better Notes

Before you begin studying, make sure you are taking high quality notes in class with organized formatting. The key to efficient note-taking is to write down key statements and emphasize the valuable information being spoken. Highlight key terms with a Zebrite highlighter, or pastel Mildliner to reference later. This will make studying less stressful when it comes time for the big exam. Utilize bullet points, traditional outlines, or numbered lists to make your notes easy to comprehend.

2. Avoid Cramming

It’s impossible to learn an entire semester worth of information in one night. In fact, it can increase test anxiety and lead to poor performance. Reading your notes for a short time daily drastically increases your chances of absorbing the information on a deeper level. According to researchers from UCLA, keeping a consistent study schedule is essential to ensuring students don’t lose sleep over studying for a test the night before. Even reading notecards on the treadmill is a great way to make studying fun and dually productive. Use Sarasa Fineliners, Mildliners and more to create a bullet journal spread for mapping out your study schedule.

3. Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindful habits can help improve productivity and eliminate stress or feelings of uneasiness at work or school. Be aware of your surroundings when studying and take deep breaths before beginning. Are you comfortable? Are you in an environment where you feel you can be successful? Allow yourself to take breaks and be honest with yourself about when you need to take one. Don’t be afraid to exercise, eat a snack, or do anything else that will make you feel at ease.

4. Create Practice Quizzes

Creating a practice quiz is a great way to study a large amount of material. Curating questions, structuring the quiz, and then taking the quiz is beneficial, and provides the opportunity to determine the material you need to study more. Use our colorful Sarasa Gel Retractable Pens to practice essay and short answer questions. The rapid drying, smudge-free ink is perfect for left-handers, and writing in different colors has been proven to help visual learners retain information.

5. Study with a Friend

Studying with a group from class or a group of friends can allow you to openly discuss the exam material and ask questions about things you don’t understand. It can also help keep you accountable for studying and prevent distractions you may have when studying alone. Organize a brief study session with friends to review and attend any review sessions held by professors or teachers. Take notes at the study sessions and use them when you’re studying independently.