It’s that time of year… final exams.
This is never an exciting topic to talk about nor is it enjoyable for most people. The only benefit of finals week is that summer or winter break is almost here! Thank the lord am I right?
Through my three years of college I’ve definitely learned some tips and tricks to get through finals week without completely dying or having sleep deprivation. Let’s just say I learned these tactics the hard way… I’ve been there honey we will get through this TOGETHER!
Here’s my advice…
1. Earlier the better.
This applies to EVERYTHING. Homework assignments, projects, teacher evaluations, studying, and everything else that has a due date.
This doesn’t mean that you should slave yourself over getting all of your to-do list complete all in one sitting… Depending on how much you have to do, take the total amount of assignments/projects you have and divide it by how many days you have to complete them and then add a few days so you don’t have to stress about it the day before it’s due.
I always find that I thank myself SO MUCH when I do this because I can actually get quality work done in advance and not stress about it being due tomorrow… you feel?
2. More IS better.
This applies to mostly everything surrounding finals week. More sleep, more studying, more coffee, more relaxation time, more is more. Take the time to study and do not cram… cramming may work for some but true, authentic preparation never fails. This goes hand in hand with “earlier the better” but studying in advance and much more will not doubt you!
3. Study with others.
Studying with other people from your courses will benefit your overall preparation because they can keep you accountable. Sometimes when I study alone I can cheat myself into giving myself the answers (anyone else?).
Studying with other people can also integrate more repetition that studying alone can sometimes lack. Having someone orally quiz you on the material can be more effective than note cards alone sometimes!
Having other people around while studying can also make the time pass. Even though the time will pass faster, you’re still getting all of the studying that you need! Having people around can be extremely beneficial.
4. Study alone.
While studying with other people has its wonderful benefits, studying alone is absolutely necessary, too. Being able to mentally understand the material by yourself is crucial because that is the way you will have show your knowledge on the exam (most likely).
I recommend studying alone and with others, and then alone again… in that order.
Preparing yourself for the group studying session is important but then studying again, alone, is what will drive the information home in your brain (from my personal experience). I find that I really need that repetition when memorizing or preparing for exams and being able to use others as a resource is helpful, as well as drilling it by myself.
5. Treat yourself.
Being able to treat yourself is one of the only ways you will get through this traumatic week… I’m serious.
Taking breaks, eating snacks, enjoying naps (without feeling bad about it, because you’re starting earlier!!), planning friend time, planning YOU time… anything that will relax you every now and then throughout this exhausting week.
I recommend taking five-ten minute breaks after each hour of studying. This may seem like a lot of breaks to some people but personally I find myself being able to retain the information a lot better through this process.
If you need more or less breaks to improve your studying techniques- then do you boo. These are just tips from my personal experiences.
Just remember this…
Final grades do NOT define you.
Treat yourself, studying more, earlier, alone and with others, and take care of your well-being.
I hope my experiences can prevent traumatic ones for you… happy studying!!