Final preparations

Tinamarie Munsell, Contributing Writer

     Finals week can be one of the most stressful time in any college student’s life. The following are some tips and strategies to doing well on your exams. The earlier you start, the better you will feel.

1. Create a study guide

     Many professors already provide a study guide but they will be more helpful if the study guides are in your own words. This can help you to understand the material better. Go through and underline anything important as the day of your final approaches. This will also make it easier to study for your exam.

2. Ask Questions

     Don’t wait until it’s too late to ask questions! After all, that is why our professors have office hours. If you can’t show up in person, at least email your questions well in advance so that professors have a chance to respond.

3. Attend the review session

     These are tempting to skip but they provide vital information on exam format, what will be on the exam, and where you should narrow your focus.

4. Start early

     Make a habit of reviewing your class notes during a quiet moment like right before bed. Going back over your notes will help prevent the need for cramming the night before the exam, which won’t help you anyway.

5. Organize a group study session

     This can be a great way to meet people you wouldn’t normally talk to during class. Group studying may also help you succeed the day of the exam if you’re that type of learner by giving you more than one perspective on a topic. For instance, asking a group, “what do you think the professor meant here?” is better than asking yourself.

6. Study things not in the guide

     Never rely strictly on what the study guide says! They are not comprehensive; study guides offer suggestions of what you may want to study.

7. Take breaks

     No matter how good you think you are, you’ll never be able to memorize or comprehend all the material at once. Balance is key, so recharge and relax every hour or half hour by taking a walk, playing some music, or reading for leisure.

8. Stay well-rested

     Getting proper rest can go a long way to helping to make you feel ready for your exam. It is recommended that college students get well over 8 hours of sleep. If this amount is not achieved you can create a sleep debt, according to Stanford University.

9. Create a study schedule – and follow it

     Looking at everything you need to study can be overwhelming. This is why breaking items into chunks can help. That way, when you look back, you can feel a sense of accomplishment.

10. Make it fun

     Create a game plan for studying and as you tackle each item, reward yourself. This can be anything from a piece of chocolate to a splurge at your favorite coffee shop. You can also make studying fun by quizzing yourself or teaching the material to others. For every chunk of material you learn, treat yourself to five minutes of free time.