Finals. One of the words that drives fear and panic in college students everywhere. Finals are often associated with cramming, late nights, caffeine overload and sleep deprivation. It can be overwhelming having to remember everything you have learned the last four months crammed into one exam, paper or presentation.
However, finals don’t have to be intimidating or scary. They can be conquered with a few simple tricks.
Stock up on your comfort foods.
Having comfort food on hand before finals week can accomplish a couple of things. First, when you are having a breakdown thinking you will not pass the final, you will be comforted by having your favorite junk food right there. Second, you won’t have to waste precious time running to the store. During finals every second counts, and it will be much easier to have your favorite food on hand.
You don’t have to settle for paper flashcards anymore. Now you can get them on your smart phone with apps such as Quizlet, Studyblue, Brainscape and others to remember all the facts from the chapter. Quizlet and Studyblue let you play matching games and take practice tests based off your flashcards. They also allow people in the same class to share cards. With Brainscape you can rate how well you know the material on the flash card then remove cards from the app when you’ve mastered them.
If you are someone who enjoys writing out your flashcards, try color coding by how well you know the information on that card. You can also color code by class so you know which flashcards belong to which class. Paper flashcards can also help because you’re actually writing out the material,which may help the information stick with you.
With finals it can be easy to become consumed with studying and feel you have no time to sleep, but sleep can be the best study tool. A study conducted in June 2014 by Dr. Stijn Baert suggested that there is a correlation between the hours students sleep and how well they do on their exams.
It found that when students did not sleep well, exam marks went down by 4.85 percentage points.
Quick power naps can do wonders for storing that information in your brain. Also sleeping at night will help you be re-energized and ready to take on your final.
Study a little everyday.
Usually on the first day of class you are aware when your final will be, so do not procrastinate. Just taking a few minutes a day for a couple of weeks to look over all your course material can be beneficial. Studying a few weeks before your final can be a good way to refresh your memory. The week before finals, start studying the concepts you are not the clearest on and breaking down the chapters. This way you won’t have to cram the week of. On the week of finals you should be able to just review and look back at the concepts you have already been studying.
Find your study spot.
The most important thing during finals is finding a place you can study for a long period of time. You will want to find a place where you won’t be distracted by other people or your surroundings. The library has areas set aside as quiet zones, which may be helpful if noise is a distraction for you. Others enjoy studying in their room and being able to lay out all their books on the bed. It is all about what works for you and how you can make the most of your study time.
The more you prepare, study and sleep, the better you’ll do on the exam.