ChatGPT’s Advice for Purdue Students Stressing About Final Exams

April 24, 2023

Louis-Tay.jpgChatGPT, OpenAI’s large language model chatbot, has captured the public’s imagination since it became widely available for testing. ChatGPT is capable of some remarkable feats, such as passing the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), and being able to understand the humor in visual memes. However, ChatGPT also underperforms in many areas. It can produce untrue information, especially when it is asked to produce sources or references that turn out not to exist. Under certain circumstances, it can also provide harmful or illegal information.

Additionally, educators are concerned that ChatGPT will be used by students to cheat on assignments. Knowledge workers such as software engineers and accountants are concerned that AI may take over some of their job responsibilities. Here at the Steps to Leaps blog, we wanted to see if there’s any chance that ChatGPT will take over the task of writing well-being tips for Purdue students anytime soon. So, we asked ChatGPT to write a blog post sharing some science-based advice for students preparing for final exams, with scientific references included. We were impressed to find that all of the references were correct, and largely seemed to line up with the content of the essay. Overall, ChatGPT echoed many of the themes that the Purdue faculty and graduate students who have contributed to this blog have discussed, but without the level of depth and detail that human writers can contribute. We hope that you find some value in this high-level summary of well-being practices, and encourage you to check out the rest of the Tip of the Week archive for more detailed recommendations from (human) subject matter experts at Purdue.

Prompt: Please draft a 600 word blog post giving advice to Purdue University students about how they can optimize their well-being and reduce stress while preparing for their final exams. Give Purdue students actionable advice that is grounded in well-established scientific evidence. Please include a title at the beginning. At the conclusion of the 600-word blog post, please include APA citations to the sources in a separate section, under a separate header titled "References", for readers who would like to learn more about the science behind your advice. Make sure that the references are properly formatted and lead to actual articles.

cavan-bonner.jpgChatGPT’s response:

Optimizing Well-Being and Reducing Stress During Final Exams: Evidence-Based Advice for Purdue University Students
Final exams can be a stressful and challenging time for students, and managing stress and maintaining well-being is crucial for academic success. In this blog post, we will explore evidence-based advice for Purdue University students to optimize their well-being and reduce stress during final exams.

1. Get enough sleep
Adequate sleep is essential for cognitive function, memory consolidation, and overall well-being. Studies show that chronic sleep deprivation can negatively affect academic performance and increase stress levels. To ensure you get enough sleep, aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every night and maintain a regular sleep schedule.

2. Eat a healthy diet
Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for overall health and well-being. Avoid junk food and sugary drinks that can lead to energy crashes and mood swings. Instead, focus on whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, that provide sustained energy and promote mental clarity.

3. Stay active
Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being. Even 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as walking or cycling, can have a positive impact on mood and cognitive function. Find an activity that you enjoy and incorporate it into your daily routine.

4. Practice relaxation techniques
Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga, can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being. These techniques have been shown to reduce cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress, and improve mood and cognitive function. Take a few minutes each day to practice relaxation techniques to help manage stress during final exams.

5. Manage your time effectively
Effective time management can help reduce stress and improve academic performance. Make a study schedule and prioritize tasks based on their importance and deadline. Break down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable ones to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

6. Seek social support
Social support is an essential component of well-being and can help reduce stress levels during final exams. Connect with family and friends, join a study group, or seek support from a counselor if needed. Talking about your stress and anxiety can help you feel more in control and better able to manage stress.
In conclusion, managing stress and maintaining well-being during final exams is crucial for academic success. Incorporating these evidence-based tips into your daily routine can help optimize your well-being and reduce stress levels. Remember to prioritize self-care and seek support when needed.


  1. American Psychological Association. (2018). Managing stress for a healthy family.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). How much sleep do I need?

  3. Hillman, C. H., Erickson, K. I., & Kramer, A. F. (2008). Be smart, exercise your heart: Exercise effects on brain and cognition. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9(1), 58-65.

  4. Sánchez-Villegas, A., Toledo, E., de Irala, J., Ruiz-Canela, M., Pla-Vidal, J., & Martínez-González, M. A. (2012). Fast-food and commercial baked goods consumption and the risk of depression. Public Health Nutrition, 15(3), 424-432.

  5. Sharma, M., & Rush, S. E. (2014). Mindfulness-based stress reduction as a stress management intervention for healthy individuals: A systematic review. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 19(4), 271-286. 

Cavan Bonner received his B.A. in Psychology from Kalamazoo College in 2021, and currently works as a research manager at the Well-Being and Measurement Lab with Dr. Louis Tay. Cavan is broadly interested in how personality — including traits, values, and belief systems — develops over the lifespan.
Louis Tay is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences. He has expertise in well-being, assessments, and data science. Be sure to check back each week for another wellness tip of the week!


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