So Finals Are Coming Up

Feel like the world is falling apart around you? Rushing to learn as much as you can in a short period of time? Reaching for that last bit of extra credit? Your finals are coming up!

Every student dreads the idea of taking a large test or writing a long essay for their final, except for those who are lucky enough to not have a final in that class. At this stage of our academic career, it appears that we have a handle on how we prefer to learn. There are some people, such as myself, who are still trying to find that perfect method that can help them universally in any subject. I learned a few tips that could help those who don't know about other methods of achieving a better understanding of their material.

1.) Learn by Visuals

   Visual aids help people in attempting to have a concrete image in their head about what they are trying to learn. Those with a photographic memory benefit a lot from this as they are able to recall the image of a page or the text they read when studying. This method may not work for everyone, but it is useful if you are good at remembering graphics and images. 

2.) Flashcards

  This is considered an old school method of memorizing because all you need is a writing utensil and some paper you can cut up. Some people benefit from this method because they are able to recognize the term or question with the correct answer after multiple repetitions. For some, including me, I begin to recognize the order and when I shuffle I would begin to recognize the card instead of the information. This is a classic, but useful method for students who prefer a mix of physically holding the cards and understanding the text.

3.) Learn by Listening

  Most try to have a good ear for this type of learning as you are only required to use your ears during this. People would record themselves or others talking about the information and then listen repetitively until you can recall the information. It is almost like memorizing lines for a play, you keep repeating the words until they are ingrained in your mind. I do not have the best ears, so this method does not help me, but if you enjoy listening to information and can remember it fairly easily then this might be the method for you.

4.) Quizlet

  For those who may not be familiar with Quizlet, it is a helpful online study tool that has multiple properties of flashcards, learning by repetition, practice tests, and more. This is my best study tool because I am able to get a wide range of options that can help me where I need them. Not everyone may enjoy Quizlet with its technological qualities, but if you like a lot of different options for studying this may be just the tool for you.

5.) Learn by Doing

  Sometimes the best way to know something is just by doing it yourself. This method is limited at times depending on the subject you are in, but it helps to build a connection with your motions and your understanding of the content. I like to use this method when I want to create muscle memory when I am writing vocabulary in a different language or when I am playing an instrument. Depending on if this method may apply to the subject in mind, it could be very helpful to learning the content more thoroughly.  

All of these methods would be useless though unless you get A LOT of sleep before and during finals week. Your brain works best after it has fully rested and sometimes coffee isn't enough. I know that I try to get between 8.5 to 9 hours of sleep every night (and most of the time I succeed). I do know people who do struggle to sleep and that is fine, but at the most try to balance sleep in a way that will help you, not harm you.  

College is a fun time with a lot of different opportunities that we want to be engaged with, but when we want to spend more time on that than actually sleeping, then it can become more dangerous than in just trying to catch a few z's.