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Finals are coming up this week, and I know a lot of us are feeling overwhelmed. Plus, with everything that’s going on in the world, it’s hard not to be stressed. For some of us, this is our first time learning online; for some, it is our first time being unable to see our friends and families; for some, this semester is the most difficult in your college journey. But, this week, don’t focus on any of that. You’ve made it to the end of the semester; you just need to push through a little while longer and I know you can do it.



In this article, I will be giving you 6 study tips to make your week easier. But, before I go any further in this article, I want you to do something for me: close your eyes, take a deep breath and say “I got this!” 

“You got this!”

Tip #1: Have a healthy and consistent workspace

When you are studying, ensure that your area is free of distractions. In this situation, distractions are defined as anything that doesn’t help you to progress or anything that hinders productive studying. For each person, this is different, so you have to adjust accordingly. Still, let me give you an example. Let’s say that "The Queen’s Gambit" is currently your favorite show on Netflix and you’re dying to finish it… please don’t have it playing in the background because you’ll accomplish nothing and if you do manage to achieve something, it won’t be nearly as much as you would’ve had you not been distracted. 

Also, establish some consistency in your area, so your brain will differentiate the time to work and the time to play. For example, this could be a chair that you sit in or this could be as simple as turning your lamp on; once your lamp is on, it is time to study. 

Tip #2: Take a five minute break every thirty minutes

For most of us, it isn’t beneficial to study for multiple hours. This is because your average person will begin to read without actively engaging with the material after 20-30 minutes. Thus, studying for a long time often results in studying in vain. Because of this, it is better to do spaced studying; study for thirty minutes, and then take a 5 minute break to do something that you enjoy. This could be listening to a song, stretching your legs, etc. And then, you get back to studying. By doing this, you’ll find that you accomplish more. 

Tip #3: Actively study

When you study, do not study aimlessly. Ask yourself questions throughout your studying to ensure that you are engaging with the material. You can even make up acronyms along the way to help you remember what you’ve learned. 

Tip #4: Review

After you have studied, try teaching someone. If there’s no one for you to teach, try explaining the concepts and facts to yourself. This way, you’ll be able to identify where there gaps in your learning are and fill those gaps before the exam.

Tip #5: Reward Yourself

In addition to using your five minute break to do something you love, do something you enjoy after you’ve finished studying. This is the point where it is okay to watch an episode of "The Queen’s Gambit;" you’ve accomplished your goal and you deserve it. This is a way of positively reinforcing your attitude towards studying. You want to make it something that you enjoy and not something that you dread doing. After a while of rewarding yourself, you’ll also discover that you’ll be able to study for longer periods of time.

Tip #6: Sleep

In my opinion, this is the most important tip. Too often do students study well, but then neglect their sleep time. Remember that sleep time is sacred and it is not to be interfered with. This is not only because it’ll make you feel more energized for your exam. Not having enough REM sleep can result in poor memory. Therefore, in order for your brain to be productive and for all of that studying to pay off, ensure that you get at least 8 hours of sleep.



I hope this tips helped. For further information on how to study more effectively, watch “Study Less Study Smart” by Marty Lobdell.

“I believe in you and I know you’re going to do great on your finals. You just need to believe it too. “

Gabriella Cohen is a senior at Michigan State University. She is studying Political Science and Criminal Justice. She aspires to be a published author. In her free time, she enjoys singing, reading, writing and spending time with her friends.
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