Study Tips for Finals, which Student are You?
The weeks before and during final exams are often a living hell for most students. While many students choose to spend hours memorizing notes and barely get out of their rooms, going to sleep at early morning; others start incorporating way too much caffeine and sugar into their diets.
Also, there are even those who choose to wait until the very last minute to start cramming the contents of their notes. It’s no wonder that, with such unhealthy study habits, many students end up getting more stressed out about their exams than they should.
While having some stress is perfectly normal and even good for you, it shouldn’t be something that completely overwhelms you. Even though this is always easier said than done, in this article we will give you some useful tips to ace your final exams without losing your sanity in the process!
Plan a weekly studying schedule in advance, and stick to it about a month before finals week officially begins. This way, you will be sufficiently prepared for your tests without having to cram for them in the last moment. The amount of study you need to do vary from person to person: it depends on the degree you’re studying, the type of learner you are…
However, it is not recommended to exceed three hours of daily study on a regular basis. Also, make sure to attend as many college lectures as possible: if you go to class regularly, it is easier to study the notes you’ve taken later. Besides, if you have been maintaining a good attendance throughout the academic year, your professor may take that into account and give you some extra points in your final mark. And furthermore, there are even some professors who drop hints about possible exam contents. It is always a good idea to go to class and pay attention!
Put good studying habits into practice
Remember to take short (but frequent) breaks every 55-60 minutes of studying. After revising, allow yourself some 10-15 minutes to wind down by doing something you enjoy: go for a short walk, watch a funny video online… If you are feeling really tired, you can extend your little pause up until 20 minutes; but never more, for it will be harder for you to get back to work later. Also, give yourself time to disconnect from anything college-related at least a couple of hours before you go to bed. If you go to bed immediately after putting down your books, you may have a hard time relaxing enough to fall asleep. Your mind will still be too focused on your studying.
“Should I start with the easiest parts?”
Some students find it hard to start studying the subjects they like less and opt to begin revising those they prefer instead. That is, however, a big mistake to do, since it’s better to assimilate more demanding contents in the beginning when your concentration levels are at their highest. If you leave the subjects you consider boring or more challenging for later, you might find yourself struggling to follow your original studying schedule. Nevertheless, you can always make the experience less tedious by rewarding yourself after successfully studying those dull topics: take a bubble bath, eat a little of your favorite candy… your choice!
More useful Study Tips
If you have been regularly attending your classes, your notes will probably be a useful study tool. However, you can always compare them with your classmates’ notes, in order to make them even more complete. Likewise, if you have difficulty understanding a specific topic or subject, you can always count on them for some help or to organize a study group. You can also ask your professor for a tutorship if you see yourself really stuck.
“Where should I study?”
You should choose a study environment which is quiet and doesn’t allow you to get distracted. For this last reason, many students prefer to study in public libraries instead of their own rooms, where there is much less “temptations” present, such as computers or game consoles.
Some people are more disciplined than others and can stick to their schedule. Others can´t help themselves and stop every five minutes to look at their phones. If you find yourself getting too distracted in your room or there is too much noise where you live, studying at your local library may actually be a good option. But in case you’re one of those who still prefer studying in his or her own room, try following this little tips in order to improve your study performance:
Keep your desk tidy. Messy environments actually make more prone to getting distracted.
If possible, leave your cell phone in another room. If you don’t have it in sight, you are more likely to end up forgetting about it for a while and focus better in your books and notes.
Never study on your bed: you not only risk falling asleep while skimming through your notes, but your brain may start associating this environment with studying; consequently, you may find yourself struggling to fall asleep at night.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself!: Do some light exercise, since it helps you relieve stress; maintain a healthy diet and allow yourself to go out with your friends one or two days to blow off some steam. Remember that this is just a phase and that it will soon be over and you will be free to do whatever you’d like once more!
We hope these little tips will be helpful for you when your final exams approach. They may at first seem like a very difficult obstacle to overcome, but we’ve all been there and survived through it.