Finals Week. This dreaded phrase is a source of stress and anxiety for students everywhere—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Approaching finals week with the right mindset can make a world of difference, and we’ve created some tips to help you do so.
Stay positive. Stay calm. You’ve got this.
Why wait until finals week to begin studying? Start now! It doesn’t have to be intensive. For a few minutes each night, review lecture notes, slide decks, and past exams. When it comes time to start studying thoroughly, you’ll be surprised at what you already know.
Before finals week arrives, make sure to know the dates of your exams and plan accordingly. Give yourself plenty of time. Make a list of items to study, then cross them off as you finish.
Ask the Professor
Your professors are there to help, so don’t hesitate to visit during their office hours. They’ll be more than willing to point you in the right direction and further explain challenging concepts. After all, your professor is the one writing the exam. Who could be a better resource?
Know What Works
Are you a visual learner? An auditory learner? Both? Identify which study methods work best for you. Whether it’s flashcards, mnemonic devices, or something else, do what will help you most effectively learn the material. You can also benefit from using more than one approach.
Group Study Sessions
Your classmates are another excellent resource. They’re going through the exact same process; make each other better! Reviewing notes and studying in groups is effective and exposes you to material that you may have missed on your own.
Unplug. Unless you’re using it as a study aid, try to distance yourself from your computer and phone. Find what helps you concentrate. Whether it’s silence or peaceful music, embrace your serene, distraction-free environment and concentrate.
There is such a thing as studying too hard. Make sure to allow yourself breaks—a time to eat, socialize, or do anything else that will help you unwind. One common technique is the 50/10 method. After every 50 minutes of reviewing, give yourself a 10-minute break.
Use notes and other resources to think of possible exam questions. This will give you a sense of how ready you are. You can do this alone or with a friend—whichever aligns with your study habits. If you ace every question, you’re ready. If not, keep reviewing until you feel confident.
Make Sleep a Priority
Experts say an additional hour of sleep will go a lot farther than that extra hour of midnight cramming. A good night’s rest will provide alertness and focus. It will also enhance your brain’s ability to retain the information you worked so hard to learn.
When you finish a test, celebrate! Succeeding in a course takes diligence and is a huge accomplishment. Take some time to relax before you begin studying for the next exam. You’ve earned it.
Posted on Saturday, December 5, 2015