It’s coming. You don’t want to say it, you don’t want to think about it, but you know; it’s coming. That moment. That one chance… FINALS. The opportunity for profs to laugh at you as sweat rolls down your face in agony, watch you crack under the pressure of a sixteen page essay, and assign ridiculously pointless, lengthy projects due in less than 24 hours.
However you, my dear, have a trick up your sleeve this time—you have a guide to ACING your final tests and projects!
Step Number One: Make a list.
And check it more than twice! By creating a list, you keep your thoughts organized, planned, and you’ll remember what to do! (Studies show that on average, people can’t remember more than 7 things at one time…maybe someone should tell the profs that!) In addition, you’ll know exactly what you have to do, and when you have to do it, if you have your items in chronological order. Furthermore, some studies have shown that in order for a memory to really stick in our minds, we have to pay attention for approximately 8 seconds. So whether it’s on a post-it note or a study guide, list-making (and paying attention to what you write!) is the most fundamental way to ace your exam.
Step Number Two: Go for a jog.
When you exercise, you’re using not only your body muscles, but also your brain! A lack of exercise can lead to plaque buildup in arteries and veins, and while we usually associate this with heart attacks, your brain is affected, too. Furthermore, the brain is dependent on oxygen and other nutrients brought in through constant blood flow. Even small exercises like a few dance moves, a brisk walk outdoors, or a quick swim can get that blood a-flowing. Now you have a great excuse to hit the gym (and maybe check out some hot gym hotties too!) before/after you study!
Step Number Three: Sing.
Ever noticed how it’s easier to rhyme when you’re singing as opposed to writing on paper? That’s because your right brain is better at making pattern connections. Therefore, by singing often, you’ll tap into your right brain more easily and be able to harness its pattern powers at the right moments. Now you have an excuse to jam any time! It’s good for your health, after all!
Step Number Four: Eat breakfast.
While we’re all trying to maintain that perfect figure, it’s SOOO important to get a good breakfast, especially the day of an exam. The brain needs glucose to function, and while you sleep, your brain is busily breaking down other glucose from your body for its functions. In addition, studies have shown (since the 1950s!) that children who eat breakfast in the morning score higher on auditory and verbal tests, among others. What’s more, research has also found that the type of breakfast that one consumes in the wee hours of the morning can affect memory. Students who ate the sugary Cap’n Crunch cereal, for example, scored lower overall than did students who ate oatmeal for breakfast. That’s not to say that you should eat a bowl of oatmeal every morning (although that does sound yummy!), but be aware of what kinds of food you choose; it could affect your test grade!
This year, you can rest easily knowing that you’ve been properly trained in the art of taking finals. Now go forth, grasshopper, and utilize these skills!