It is that time of year again. The sun is out, closets are refreshed with new shorts and flip flops, and your next three months are planned with weekend vacations to the beach or pool. The only thing standing in your way are those pesky finals that professors think we should take to test or knowledge and prove that we should actually pass the course (to be honest, they are probably right).
So to help you get through this next week and on to your summer vacation, here are 10 tips to help you ace your finals:
1. Start early:
Nothing impacts your study habits more than procrastination. And I think we can all say that we have been guilty of it a time or two (or always). Start preparing for your finals early, because the more times you look at the information, the more likely you are to remember it. Even if it is little steps like preparing flashcards or highlighting your notes, every little bit helps.
2. Be prepared:
Come up with a plan for your studying and don’t start with an empty slate. Are you going to run through your flashcards first or read through your notes? Ensure that you have all of your study materials prepared the minute you begin and have a plan set in stone to guide your efforts and make your studying more efficient.
3. Pick an encouraging study partner:
Even though studying with your best friend is fun, it may not be the most productive. You will end up chatting about last weekend's drama and soon enough, three hours will pass and you will still have no idea how to solve that impossible calculus problem. Have a study partner that encourages you to get your work done or is able to answer any questions you may have. This will make for a fun, yet productive study session.
4. Find your favorite spot:
If you’re like me, you will do anything you can to avoid the library. Luckily, there are plenty other places on campus or in walking distance that are the perfect places to study and mix up the environment if you get tired of the library. Panera, Starbucks, Westlake Hall, the study rooms in the Student Center, and Baker Hall are all great places to study. You can even take advantage of the nice weather by bringing your studying outside!
5. Take breaks:
Make sure the amount of material you have to remember does not overwhelm you. Let your brain take a 10–minute break every 60-90 minutes. Maybe take a walk around the library, call a friend, or check your social media. Whatever you do, give yourself a few minutes to relax and take your mind off of studying. Trust me, it will help you retain the information in the long run.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions:
Never be afraid to reach out to a classmate or your professor if you stumble across a problem you can’t solve. It is better than spending hours trying to figure out one problem.
7. Eat healthy and exercise:
When we are cramming for finals, we often find ourselves snacking at 1:00am or skipping out on our morning run because we simply don’t have time. But healthy eating habits and exercising will actually fuel your studying, making it easier to retain information compared to if you ate that McDonald’s cheeseburger and skipped out on the gym the last three days. If you can’t find time to go to the gym, try taking a short walk or doing a short workout before you hop in the shower that morning. And, eat study snacks that will fuel you such as fruits, veggies and healthy proteins.
8. Manage your time well:
Do you have 4 finals, a paper and a capstone project all due the week of finals? Break out your work schedule and balance out your load. Devising a plan of action will ensure that you hit the mark on each project and get everything done on time.
9. Use study tools:
Plain and simple–use your resources. Whether it’s Quizlet, Chegg study guides, your sorority’s study files, or your best friend, use your resources to help guide your studying. It will help you clear up any unanswered questions and provide you with some extra material to refer to.
10. Think positively:
Don’t put yourself down. You have come this far into the semester and you have one thing standing between you and summer. Are you on the border of getting an A? Don’t give up now! Make sure you keep your mind full of positive thoughts to encourage yourself to study hard and achieve your goals. It will feel great knowing you tried your hardest in a course, no matter what your final grade is.
So think positively, be proactive and make a plan. Overall, just go ace those finals so you can finally start your summer.