As of December 10, 2012, final exams would’ve officially crept back into the lives of many students here on the Hill. However, the question is begged: How does one best prepare for a final exam? The American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment found that 86.1 percent of students have felt overwhelmed by all they had to do in the last 12 months and felt exhausted not from physical activity.
A publication from Old Dominion University suggests that in preparation for final exams students should create a study schedule, review their previous tests, notes and text, form study groups and ultimately relax.
“I have excessive study sessions with my classmates where I create and take sample finals,” said Ronnica Jenkins, a graduating senior English student from West Palm Beach, Fla. ‘I stay focused by planning my days down to the hour to keep track on what I have to do.”
Many publications offer tips similar to those of ODU that encourages students to relax, review notes and tests, etc. Yet, ultimately a student’s success is determined by him or herself.
“What helps me makes A’s is starting to study a week before exams with a partner,” said Tyia Branker, a senior psychology student from Jacksonville. “I deal with the stress by taking breaks and doing things completely unrelated to my course work."
It would seem as though there are standard procedures to final exam preparation but not all students employ the same formula. Micharon Matthews, a junior political science student from Naples, Fla., attributes her success to a more comprehensive approach. “I study throughout the semester,” said Matthews. “I hate cramming, and this is the best way to avoid it. I also drink green tea to reduce my stress level.”
In 200, Purdue University published an article that cites the studies of various psychologists on the study habits of students. Nate Kornell, a post doctorate fellow at the University of California Los Angeles at the time said, “When you study an unfamiliar fact again and again in immediate succession it feels much better embedded in your memory than it actually is. It's much better to create an interval between the times you study an item.”
Success on final exams is proven as a result of careful planning and strong retention. So before you study make sure you already know some of the material. And, good luck!