While studying consistently and frequently throughout the semester is the best bet for nailing an A in any given course, you may come across a test or two that calls for a late-night cram session at some point during your collegiate career. If you find yourself pulling a red-eye before finals, we’ve got some great tips for doing it the healthy way. And, for even helpful study tips, check out our post, “Techniques to improve memory: Memorization tips to sharpen your mental pencil.”
- Go easy on the caffeine: While a few large cups of joe may seem like the ideal solution, the temporary buzz will eventually give way to crashing the following day, perhaps even during the aforementioned test. Instead, stick to something hydrating like Gatorade, which replenishes electrolytes and allows your brain to perform at its peak.
- Lower the screen setting on your computer: Eye strain is not only painful, but it brings on physical fatigue and decreases productivity. When staring at the computer screen for hours, dull the brightness of the display and your eyes will thank you.
- Avoid distractions: From Facebook to texting, chatting with friends or surfing the web may tempt you. Health Psychologist Lynn Rossy suggests in “Ten tips to reduce end-of-semester stress” to check email at limited times during the day and avoid other unnecessary distractions like Facebook and phones. You’ll have plenty of time to reconnect with friends or watch the latest viral video once finals are over.
- Make a to-do list: To avoid a lagging sense of motivation, set a schedule outlining your tasks so the efforts put forth aren’t wasted. For example, for every 40 minutes of studying, take a 5-15 minute break to allow your mind to refocus. The article, “7 Quick Steps to Getting Through Finals Week Without Stressing,” says that keeping a to-do list takes one more pressure off of you to remember every little thing.
- Pick a study-friendly setting: While studying from a bed or couch certainly sounds more appealing, your brain will automatically associate your bed with a good night’s sleep, which can hinder late-night study time. Studying at a desk, table or at the library will help keep your mind on the right track.
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