Finals are just around the corner. Don’t stress. Don’t panic. Regardless of how your academics have been going this semester, it is important to still give finals your best shot, even if you may just want to stay in bed and binge Netflix (now don’t get me wrong, I want to do this too, but this can happen after finals).
Even though your brain may be feeling a little fried, follow these simple study tips that’ll help you prioritize your time and feel confident for finals!
1. Put your phone away
You have probably heard this one before, but it’s true. Research has shown that just having our phones near us can prove to be a major distraction, so save yourself that distraction by putting it away and not in your pocket or on your desk. Put it somewhere that creates more of a physical boundary, such as in a drawer or in a closed bag. This way, if you feel the instinct to check your phone, it will be easier to stop yourself as it will take you a bit longer to reach.
2. Review a little material each day
Save yourself the struggle of trying to cram all the material from this past semester into your brain in one night. Although you may not want to, push yourself to review a little material each day. This will ultimately lighten your load the night before, and give you ample time to review confusing concepts and get your questions answered. In addition, research has shown that this study technique of spacing out when you review material can help you recall it better in the long term.
3. Don’t leave your questions unanswered
This one sounds intuitive, but is often overlooked. I know I have caught myself overlooking questions and concepts that I don’t fully understand, hoping that they won’t be on the exam when they later are. Chances are that these concepts that you overlook will be on the exam and you’ll be wishing you took that extra time to ask a friend, go to office hours, or even email your professor to get your question clarified. Although it may seem like a bit of a hassle, get all your questions answered and it’ll leave you feeling much more confident for the exam.
4. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start now
Maybe you’ve waited too long to space out your review sessions. You’re starting to feel overwhelmed, realizing the amount of material that you have to study and the time that you have left. This happens to everyone at some point and there is really no reason to panic and worry. Rather than pushing studying off to temporarily ease your anxiety, do something right now to start studying. Whether that is going to office hours, getting together with a study group, or just making a plan for all the material you have to go over, starting now is what will help ease the anxiety. It will also help you to get in a productive state of mind to tackle the material you have to review, so if this sounds like you, in the next 30 seconds (or when you’re done reading this article), do something to get the study grind going.
5. Take breaks
Finally, remember that your study sessions do not have to span hours on end. Remember to be reasonable with yourself and take some breaks. Whether that is every 30 minutes or hour, set a timer and stick to it. This will allow you to not only focus on your studies for the allotted time, but will remind you that you will get a break soon! When you’re on a break, this is the time where you can check your phone, grab a snack to eat, or even just get up and stretch.