Although it may seem like midterm season just ended, it is never too early to start studying for final exams. Actually, studying early will help you to be more successful on your finals because you aren’t cramming at the last minute. Here are a few tips for how to study for final exams!
1.Verify the details
Figure out sooner rather than later when and where your finals are. You will already be experiencing some anxiety on the day of the exam, so worrying about where you are going should not be another source of anxiety since that is one thing that is in your control. You can find the finals schedule here, or it should also be in your course syllabus.
2. Get some sleep
Pulling all-nighters the night before the exam when you haven’t studied previously won’t actually help and can also be detrimental to your health. Fatigued brains do not retain information, nor do they recall it well. When you sleep, that’s when memories are stored and can be called on later. So, even if it is a shorter night, make sure you are sticking to your normal sleep schedule.
3. Eat well!
Just like sleeping is important, so is giving your body the nutrients it needs to perform well and remember things you are studying! Scheduling time to eat throughout your study days will also give you a break once and a while to keep your mind fresh and prevents you from burning out.
4. Stay active
If you are someone who usually works out, goes for walks or hikes, or runs, make sure to schedule time during your finals study schedule to continue to do these things. Physical activity actually clears your mind and will allow you to focus once you come back to your study material.
5. Distribute your time
Many of you probably have more than one final exam during finals week. Naturally, we want to study hardest for the first one we have and not worry about the second one until the first one is over. However, according to TIME magazine, “research has shown that human brains are not designed to focus narrowly for long stretches of time. So, plan to work on an individual subject for an hour or two, and then switch. You do not have to split your time equally.” Revisiting study material more frequently in shorter time blocks will help the information “set” in your memory.
6. Silence your social media accounts
We are the generation of distraction. Our brains are not meant to multi-task well, so when we are reading a chapter of a textbook or a section of a study guide and stop every five minutes to respond to a text, send a tweet, snap a picture and add a cool filter, or upload our summer break plans to Instagram, we are actually diminishing the content we just read. Consider using social media accounts as a reward. For every 30 minutes of studying you do, you get 10 minutes to socialize via whatever platform you use. However, make sure to set a timer, because we all know the black hole of the internet, and pretty soon you end up binge watching cat videos on YouTube.
Final exams can be stressful, but the more prepared you are, the less stressed you will be!