Written by Megan Benjamin
Ah, the sweet smell of stress is in the air! Finals are coming up. You know it; we know it, but you needn’t worry! Here are five tips to keep you sane while you bang out those papers, study your heart out, and ace those final exams!
1.) Start early. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you don’t have enough time to learn the material you need to learn, read the pages you need to read, or memorize the formulas you should’ve known in October. We won’t fault you for not staying on top of everything all semester long (a kid’s gotta have some fun too, right?), but instead of waiting until the absolute last minute, start now! Make some few flash cards; solve a few extra problems, read a few extra pages RIGHT NOW. (Seriously.) It’ll help with the stress later.
2.) Get your papers out of the way first (if you have any). Research papers can be time consuming and exhausting. Make the time to get them out of the way early so you can have a little mental break before you have to study for your final exams.
3.) Find a study buddy. Studying alone might be more your style, but studying with a friend (especially for last minute preparations) is way more fun and helps you learn the material better. Make sure you pick a study buddy who can get down to business and focus. Studying with a buddy not only helps you learn the material, but it also gives you an opportunity to teach or explain it to someone else. If you can teach it, you have learned it!
4.) Write it out. Studying for a big math exam? Work through some practice problems. Trying to ace español? Flashcards are great for vocabulario. Big scary bio test? Write key terms, definitions, and concepts into a giant study sheet. Highlight the stuff you find most important. Research shows that repeatedly writing or even typing key terms or study materials will help you remember the things you need to know for your finals!
5.) Sleep! You might be able to get away with pulling an all nighter to bang out a paper, but staying up all night to study for a big test will hurt you big time on game day. Your brain can absorb much more and function on a much higher level when you are well rested. Try your best to get at least eight hours of sleep each night for at least a week before your final exams. Feel like you don’t have enough time to sleep? You do. Go to bed early, and wake up early. It’ll help maximize your study time.
Good luck! Remember to stay focused and rested (and caffeinated if all else fails)!