Well, it’s that time again. Just about every 16 weeks we experience it. That’s right. Finals week. They can be extremely stressful and sometimes you may be asking yourself “WHY!?!?!”
Fear not! I have some suggestions that may help you get through this week, and prepare for your finals.
1. Get organized. Use your student planner to your advantage. Plan your study times ahead of schedule. I find that after a weekend of review for all subjects, studying 2 days before your exam for your specific class can really help. This is not to be confused with cramming… Assuming you know the material, and have been reviewing ahead of time, a quick recap the 2 days before is ideal. It lets you review those items you didn’t really do so well on before, and if you have any last minute questions, you will probably have enough time to get them squared away.
2. Generalize. Take a look at your previous tests and quizzes for your class. What questions are asked more often than others? Is there anything you went over extensively in class? These are all hints to what you will find on the final exam. Don’t try and study every single thing you went over in class during the last 16 weeks. Summarize the most important things in your own words, and review your summaries. I find it helps extremely well, because not only do you retain information you have written down better, but you also have to think about how you will rewrite the given material into your own words. Having things in your own lingo will stick better than bland textbook material, even if it covers the same topic!
3. FLASHCARDS! This is almost the same as generalizing, but it helps with the more specific generalizations. (Oxymoron.. I know.) What i mean by this is, items you may have struggled with in your overview! Put those suckers on flashcards, and have at it! Bring them with you. A trick I use is, whenever I want to turn on or off a light, or change the channel on the tv, I have to recite something on one of my flashcards before I do it. You’d be surprised how fast you learn the material that way.
4. SLEEP!!! My personal favorite, and possibly the most important of them all, is getting enough sleep the night before. It doesn’t matter how much you study or think you know the material. Fail to get enough sleep the night before, and you will be only hurting yourself on the exam! Think of it like this. If you don’t get enough sleep the night before, (you shouldn’t have been cramming, since you planned ahead and scheduled study time anyway!) you will be a walking zombie at the worst possible time to be one. (Halloween is the only good time to be a zombie.) So, the day before your exam (I said DAY!!) get some exercise. Play with your pets, go for a run, bike ride, whatever you do. Wear yourself out. But not right before bed! If you exercise right before bed you will not be tired. In fact, you’ll be roaring to go. Not exactly the ideal scenario when you have an exam at 7:30 in the morning!!!
Relax. You’ve studied your behind off, and now you sit at your desk staring at that dreaded test. Don’t stress! You did well. Not only did you study ahead of time, but you also took care of any other questions you had, and you got a good nights sleep, along with a healthy and hearty breakfast. Take your time, and most importantly take your test!
I know it’s easy to do, but stressing is unhealthy. Try as hard as you can not to over stress yourself. Some anxiety is normal, but you shouldn’t get so worked up you turn purple during the exam. Take a breath, count to 10, think of a cute little puppy, or a kitten, frolicking in a beautiful meadow, and then resume your test. You can do it.
Question of the day: What do you do to maximize your studying time? It would be interesting to see how others study, and see how not only myself, but everyone might be able to improve their strategies. firstname.lastname@example.org