Unfortunately, syllabus week can’t last forever. At some point in the semester, usually about now, all of your courses will magically align (or your professors will conspire) to give you a test in ever single class in the same week. Okay maybe not every class, but at least a few tests will align to the point where you’re studying for them simultaneously. Here are four ways to overcome a hellish week of tests on the horizon.
1. Plan Ahead.
All of your syllabi should have test dates in them. Put these dates in your planner and if you see that some of them line up, start making study plans and arrangements to make your life easier. If you can avoid it, don’t plan a trip away from campus or an appointment right before the tests. This will alleviate stress and allow you more free time to study and relax before the big week.
2. Start Early.
When you know the days of your tests, you can make a study schedule or plan. If you have 4 weeks until your tests, maybe focus on a chapter or two each week with a final review the week before the exam. Or if that’s too much commitment, pick one day every week that you will review for each exam. For example, study on Tuesdays for Biology and Mondays for Philosophy and Thursdays for Chemistry. This way you’ll be in a better mindset to focus on each topic and understand the concepts better; you’ll also avoid having to cram for three tests in one night.
We all know where our strengths and weaknesses lie. If Philosophy is easy to you, don’t spend four full days studying for it. It’s much more satisfying to work on something that’s easy or that you’re good at but it’s ultimately not super useful. Focus your efforts on whichever class is the most challenging and dedicate more time to that exam than you do to the others that week. Start earlier on that study process or make extra time to go to that professors office hours.
4. Study Buddy.
In the first week of all my classes, I try to make friends with the people I sit by. Not like friends, but like class friends. I’ll usually exchange numbers or emails with them so we can swap notes if either of us missed a lecture or so we can chat about our word counts when we have a paper due. If you have it, make sure to this connection before a test. Studying with someone can help you differentiate the classes and make each studying into an event rather than a passive activity.