1. The “Plenty of Time” Stage (also known as false security): This is when you first hear about the exam. 95% of the time students are given plenty of warning about its approach, and respond accordingly. “Wow, that’s ages away, why are they telling us about it now?” Chances are they’re telling you about the exam for a good reason. I generally find the earlier I’m told about an exam, the more time I should set aside for study.
2. The Calm but Curious “Have you started studying for that exam yet?” Stage: This is when you ask a friend or fellow student whether they have started studying for the exam, and if so, how much have they done. It’s apparently a good indicator on whether you need to make a start, or if it’s possible to hold of studying just that little bit longer. I usually ask a friend who I know hasn’t started yet, that way I feel better about myself. (note: I do not recommend you do the same.)
3. The More Urgent “Have you started studying for the exam yet?” Stage: This stage is almost identical to the previous one, only this time you’ve actually started to worry, especially when you find out that friend started studying a week ago.
4. The “I’ll do something else that’s productive” Stage: You’ll do anything but study at this stage. You’ll clean your room, you’ll mow the lawn, you’ll wash the dog…heck, you’ll wash your neighbour’s dog as long as you don’t have to open up a textbook.
5. The “Denial” Stage: There can’t be that much to study for can there? I’m sure I’m just over-reacting and stressing out for no reason. This is a more desperate version of the false security stage.
6. The “Anger” Stage: How dare they put an exam at such a bad time, don’t they realise I have other assessment to focus on too? The fact you were reminded three weeks ago has conveniently slipped your memory due to the fit of rage you are currently in.
7. The “Panic” Stage: Once the anger has worn off you start asking yourself why you didn’t study earlier. You’re running out of excuses as you start to panic more. The textbook is now right in front of you, but you haven’t opened it…yet.
8. The “Acceptance” Stage: This is the part where you finally throw all your excuses out the window and take the first step towards study. You open the textbook and silently promise yourself (for the hundredth time) that this will not happen again.