Exam preparation

Advice on exam preparation

Aside from the usual advice on life hygiene, here are a few things to be considered:

During exams one may sometimes be tempted to improve one’s performance and well-being by resorting to certain substances:

  • drugs such as tranquillisers, sleeping pills or stimulants: self-medication is not without risk and such drugs should only be used under strict medical supervision. Regular consumption of some drugs may lead to addiction.
     
  • vitamin supplements have no side-effects in principle except in case of significant overdosage.
     
  • psychostimulants (caffeine, tobacco, etc.): increased consumption of such phychostimulating substances to mitigate the effects of stress from the exams may upset your natural body rythm (e.g. sleep disorders) and have the opposite effect.

It should be noted that psychological problems arising around an exam may be the sign of underlying personal difficulties. Talking about it (even from time to time) often prevents a vicious circle from setting in where disproportionate fears and learning problems lead to overreaction and ill-advised behaviour (e.g. massive drug intake, insomnia, etc.) which in turn only worsen the situation.

Dr Luc MICHEL
Psychiatrist
Psychotherapeutic consultation
SAE- EPFL