Unfortunately, the end of the semester is approaching which means final exams are in our futures. Here are my best study tips to implement during the next few weeks to be prepared for your exams.
Create a realistic study schedule
This may seem obvious, but now is the time to get ahead and began creating a schedule for finals week. I find when I plan ahead, I am less stressed and can be more productive in crunch time. If possible, create a study guide this week so you can start studying earlier. It is important that your schedule is realistic. Make sure you account for study breaks, meals, and enough sleep. I prefer using a physical agenda when creating a schedule rather than using my computer/phone. Use highlighters to rank priorities.
Find effective study spaces ahead of time
At UVA, there are endless places to study. Everyone has different preferences of where they like to study, whether that be super quiet or a place with a bit of background noise. I like to scope out different study rooms ahead of finals week to get an idea of where to go. At UVA, you can also reserve study rooms. I suggest doing this ASAP because they book up quickly. Try to find rooms in random buildings that won’t get super crowded during finals week. Also, move around! You don’t want to be in the same room for 8 hours straight. You will lose motivation and won’t be able to focus.
turn on ‘do not disturb’
It is so important to limit as much distraction as possible. If your phone is constantly buzzing, or even lighting up, you will be taking away studying time. It is important to give yourself study breaks, but try to put your phone away and be as productive as you can during non-study break times. During finals week, you will be tempted to go on it, but turn on the “do not disturb” feature on your phone and laptop to get work done as quickly as possible.
Set specific goals for each study session
I find that when I have a goal that I can physically or mentally check off, I am the most productive. Write a list of realistic goals to accomplish during a study session. Whether it is reading a certain amount of pages or completing a deck of flashcards, it can be super helpful to have a goal to work towards. Again, make sure these are realistic so that you can actually make progress.
get enough sleep, movement, and food
Before your mind can be effective, you have to make sure you are physically in a good state to be studying. This means getting a good nights sleep, having three balanced meals with snacks in between, and moving your body. Whether that means going on a walk in the fresh air or going to the gym for 30 mins, physical movement is so important. During finals week, you are spending most of your day sitting at a desk. You will be so much more productive if you move your body a bit. I learned that when I do not get enough sleep, I am not an effective studier. I don’t have energy and I can’t focus. It is crucial that you are resting your mind and body with sleep. Fuel your body with balanced meals and lots of water to be successful when studying.