Pre Exam Rituals

Students practice different methods to prepare for exams.

Zoe Ploog

Testing has proven to be a stressful element of school life at Curtis all year round. From IB and AP exams, Regents, and finals in the spring, to midterms, SATs, and ACTs in the winter, not to mention assessments given by teachers every day, it is a constant source of strain for many students. How exactly does each person handle the burdens of testing and what pre-exam rituals take place? 

Olamide Olayiwola, a busy senior who is a member of both the tennis and lacrosse teams and Vice President of the S.O said that her pre-exam rituals include, “Praying before, during, and after exams. This works depending on whether or not I studied. The last test I remember praying for was the November SAT and the IB Biology topic 5.1 quiz.”

Another student that uses religious practices for test prep is Khadijah Akter, who said, “I am not superstitious, but as a Muslim, I read the duas before exams as well as when I study. This is what helps me through testing.” 

Religion is the basis of pre-exam rituals for Olamide and Khadijah, but Lila Bruschi, a senior in the IBCP program, says that before exams she has a full morning routine. After waking up to take a shower, she eats eggs and two sausages for breakfast, before giving herself a motivational speech in her bathroom mirror. This does not seem to be uncommon, as Greer Gerney, a junior in the IB DP program, expressed similar sentiments. “If it is a big test like the SAT or a Regent, I give myself an extra 30 minutes of sleep that morning and eat a nutritious breakfast. As I am getting ready, I give myself a pep talk in the mirror because sometimes nerves can be overwhelming, even if I understand what is on the test.” When school kicks into full gear, we wish you the best of luck on all of your exams, whether you find yourself taking the SAT or an impossible math quiz!