Ahh it’s that time of year again….It’s almost FINALS WEEK! I’m nervous, you’re nervous, we’re all nervous. Whether you haven’t been paying attention this whole semester, or have slightly, there’s hope. As I go into my second semester, I have realized what has helped me study best for midterms and last semester’s finals. Take a breather and I’ll explain what I believe to be the best way to study for finals.
1. Do Your Homework
Ok so this is a preparatory step but it really does make a difference. It is important that you complete your assignments that are due the week of finals early. I got stuck with professors cramming last minute assignments and essays that are due the week of finals. Trust me, do them as soon as possible. You don’t want to have to be worrying about essays and your final exams during that last week.
2. Find a Group to Study With
This may seem cliche but I’ve noticed that studying in groups helps me a lot. What you could do is find one or two people taking the same course, and spend a whole day doing practice problems, going through lecture slides, and re-doing worksheets. Remember, don’t choose a large group because most of the time, they’ll distract you or slow your studying down. By choosing a study buddy or two, you’d be combining a few brains and would be able to help each other understand things that one person may not know.
3. Watch Videos
I personally am a visual learner. Sometimes you may not understand what the professor explained or simply forgot. Videos are a great way to refresh your memory. Not only this, but many channels include animations or visuals that will help you remember certain processes. I highly recommend The Chemistry Tutor for Chemistry videos, The Amoeba Sisters for Biology, and Crash Course for all types of subjects.
4. Choose a New Location
When you study, try not to study in your room. Your room is probably one of the most distracting places to choose. Change your environment and go to the library or a nice café. Choosing a new place will guarantee that you study without distractions. Sip a coffee while you study to keep you motivated.
6. Take A Break Every Hour
If you think studying for hours without a break is a good way to cram, it’s really not. Your brain needs occasional mental breaks. The best way to study is to set a timer for an hour where you just study nonstop. Once the timer’s over, take a 15-30 minute break doing something you enjoy and go right back to studying. If you start studying really early, take a huge break in the evening (maybe go out to eat quickly with a friend) and then continue studying after. Also remember, it’s crucial you get at least eight hours of sleep in order to fully retain what you studied.
7. Have Some Nutritional Food With You
Sometimes having food with you to munch on as you study is a great way to keep you alert and motivated. Because you’re going to be studying for many days, make sure you munch on some healthier foods. Nuts, dried fruits, or lightly salted popcorn are great snacks with nutritional value.
8. Don’t Panic Too Much
Easier said than done, but really… believe in your capabilities. Take a step back and realize that you’ve taken the material for a semester, so studying for the test is just a simple review. Don’t study right before the test (minutes or hours before) because you’ll end up stressing and confusing yourself more.
You’ve got this! Good luck on your finals!