You’ve worked tirelessly all semester and now you’re mere weeks or even days away from a relaxing summer break. The only thing standing in your way now? Finals! Here are some valuable tips to help you stay healthy and organized while preparing for final exams. For even more advice on how to make it through finals week, check out our post, “Finals week also means turning in final research papers.”
- Plan ahead – Procrastination may be your middle name, but don’t wait until a week (or day, yikes) before the final to begin your preparation! It may seem like common sense, but planning ahead is vital when it comes to saving you time and stress as well as retaining information. When you cram, you tend to immediately forget all that information that had cost a lot of money to obtain.
- Organize yourself – “Study Tips for Finals Week” suggests reviewing the reading and coursework that you completed during the semester and organize notes and prior assignments by topic. Rewrite sloppy notes; make flash cards or chapter summaries to find all the information you need easily.
- Ask for help – Whether you’re confused on a particular topic or just need someone to bounce ideas off of, create a study group or contact your TA to have a sit down session to review your notes. Remember to plan ahead and contact them in advance instead of the day before the final, especially since there tends to be a last minute rush and professor and TA office hours may be booked solid.
- Stay healthy – Sleep, eat properly and workout as you’re preparing! Don’t let the vending machine tempt you. Studies have shown that Omega-3 fatty acids boost energy and improve memory. Fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, beans and olive oil are the best brain foods.
- Give yourself a break – Though you may feel productive, staring at your textbooks for 13 hours straight can do more harm than good. The article, “5 Tips and Tricks to Make Your Finals Week a Success,” suggests that every couple hours you give yourself a break to do something other than studying. Watch a half hour of TV, take a nap or blow off some steam outside.
- Set multiple alarms – Have you ever had that nightmare that you missed your final? So that you don’t live that nightmare, set a few alarms to ensure that you won’t only wake up in time, but that you’ll arrive early enough to get a seat and settle in before the test begins.
- Don’t rush through the test – The faster you try to rush through the material, the more likely you are to make simple mistakes and lose valuable points. Take your time to thoroughly read and understand the question before rushing to an answer.
- Don’t stress once it’s over – Sometimes, you’ll leave a final feeling happy and triumphant. Other times, the impending doom of a poor grade is hard to shake. No matter how you’re feeling afterwards, it’s important to relax and let go without dwelling. If you didn’t feel as prepared as you were hoping to, learn from your experience and change your approach the next time around!
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