If your’re camping out in Capen, or hogging a cubicle in Lockwood, know that no matter where you conduct your studying, or how you go about it, it will change the outcome of your endeavor. Here are a few tips to help ease the painful act of cramming and preparing for finals…
1. Write it out
Put those third-grade penmanship lessons to good use. Research suggests we store information more securely when we write it out by hand than when we type it. Start by recopying your notes from the semester onto a new sheet of paper and re-read as often as you need to absorb the information properly.
Instead of starting at your computer screen riddled with notes for three hours, stare at a blank wall for three minutes. Research suggests meditation can reduce anxiety and boost attention span. While those studies focus mostly on regular meditation, there’s no harm in trying it out for a few minutes to calm pre-test jitters.
3. Study old exams
One of the most effective ways to prepare for exams is to practice taking past versions. This helps you get used to the format of the questions, and if you time yourself, can also be good practice for making sure you spend the right amount of time on each section. Who knows, maybe your professor will get lazy and re-use old exam questions.
4. Eat Brain Food!!
Please, please, please don’t eat crap all of finals week. As hard as it is to plan to eat healthy 24/7 and especially during a busy week, throwing in some of these great snacks every so often will definitely help you stay focused:
– Fish (got to stock up on those sweet, fatty omegas!)
– Eggs (packed with B12 for those needed energy boosts is sure to leave you with a full and satisfied stomach)
– Peanut butter (go ahead, eat it out of the jar with a spoon because it actually contains healthy fats and lots of protein per serving which means a little can keep you full for a long time)
– Green tea (this is a great alternative to high-caffeine options, as it provides antioxidants as well as boosting your concentration)
5. Treat yo-self!
A healthy snack, a walk around/outside the library, five minutes on Instagram—whatever floats your boat. Knowing there’s a little reward waiting for us at the end of just a few pages makes it easier to beat procrastination while trudging through a semester’s worth of notes.