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Exam season can be stressful, especially when online classes make it harder to focus. Here are some tips on how to prepare for your exams.

Use the Pomodoro Technique.

The Pomodoro technique is a time management technique developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1908s. It can be useful when studying for extended periods of time and avoiding burnout. The technique asks you to alternate focused study time, with frequent and short breaks.

Here’s how to use it:

Step one: Pick a task that you want to accomplish

Step two: Set a timer for 25 minutes

Step three: Work for 25 minutes. You mustn't let yourself get distracted during this time. 

Step four: Take a 5-minute break

If you want to keep your concentration level, it’s best to spend your breaks walking around your house or drinking water. Avoid going on your phone because you can lose track of time. After four 25 minute study sessions, take a 15-30 minute break.


Clean your study space.

During finals week, any activity that is not studying seems like a waste of time. However, it is helpful to have a nice clean study area. It will help you focus a lot more. You are less likely to get distracted and waste time when your study area is clean.

Create your own outline of the material.

It may be tempting to just read the powerpoints over and over again, but that is not a good way of retaining information. Creating your own study outline for each class is a great way to study, and it also can be used as a way to measure progress.

Sleep Well

All-nighters seem like they’re a college staple, but lack of sleep can seriously damage your ability to concentrate. Staying up late to study might not be useful at all when it comes to retaining information.

Break up studying into small tasks.

Covering units one at a time can help studying seem less daunting. It is also a good way to keep track of your progress and stay motivated. 

While it may seem like finals are the end all be all, they are not. The impact of your final grades will not matter as much in the long run, so it is not worth it to sacrifice your physical and mental well being for it. If you manage your time well, you should be able to get good grades without harming yourself.

Ria Deshmukh

Virginia Tech '23

Virginia Tech student majoring in Criminology and Sociology.
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