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Finding My Study Strategy for Finals Season

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at McMaster chapter.

As finals season narrows in on me, my student-brain is struggling to find the perfect study strategy to ace all of my exams. It’s recently come to my attention that studying for exams requires a lot of planning, and my third-year self is finally getting the hint that I need to get myself on track. My first exam is coming way too fast for my liking, so this is me, kicking my butt into gear. 

My first step whenever I study for finals is putting all of the dates in my calendar. Not only does this help me keep track of when my finals are, but also how long I have to study for them. This also helps me with my next step: planning my study schedule. 

To plan my study schedule I basically count the number of days I have for each exam and set at least one unit of studying per day. While this does mean I have certain days that require the entire day to get the work done, it also means that I know I’m going to cover all of the content by the time the exam is here. It’s a huge help knowing that by the day before the exam I’ll know the majority of the content and can just review. 

One of my favorite ways to review anything is through flashcards. My quizlet account is full of me creating flashcards for each unit, each quiz, each test, etc. and it’s gotten to a point of quizlet being automatically opened whenever I know I’m going to be studying. I’ve also found a new platform, “knowt” which allows you to use flashcards but in a “learning” mode which helps you space out your repetition. It’s been AMAZING for my studying and I’ve seen a huge difference in my knowledge retention since using the spaced repetition mode. 

Finally, I allow myself some breaks. I find it insane that some students pull all-nighters when they have the next day for a fresh start at their studying. I get stressed, I’m in the same boat, but at the same time, my brain definitely isn’t functioning after two in the morning. My learning benefits more from a good night’s rest than forcing myself to stay up until the early hours of the morning to learn one more concept. 

Maya is a third-year student at McMaster University, working towards a degree in Psychology and Human Behaviour. She is a social media director as well as a writer at Her Campus at the McMaster University chapter. In her spare time, you can find her jamming out to Taylor Swift, running a book blog, and binge-watching the newest and upcoming shows, usually all with an earl grey tea in hand. She’s also interested in mental health and improving her own mental health by experimenting with different self-care and wellness methods, as well as sharing her experiences with others through her writing.