With the last round of tests still underway, it can be intimidating to even think about finals. One easy way to begin is by taking a step back and determining which finals are going to be the most difficult and time consuming to study. This decision can be made by calculating out potential grades and judging previous tests. If a final is optional, predicting whether it will help or hurt the ending grade is crucial to making the decision of taking the final. Having the most difficult tests in mind, setting up ample study time and even possibly office hours with the professor will set up any student for success.
Going further into the preparation process, printing off study guides, practice problems, and notes is a great way to start glancing back over material. Having these resources printed off can be helpful to annotate and highlight important parts. Also, having all of these papers in individual folders can help organization which promotes a productive environment. In addition to these papers, teachers will often give tips on how to be successful with their particular final which can be very helpful as well.
After being satisfied with preparing for studying, it is time to hit the books. The best way to do this varies for every person; however, throughout the semester each student typically finds a way to study for each class differently. If a study method worked out well for a regular exam, chances are it will have similar results for a final as well. Although finals can be overwhelming at a glance, using techniques and methods that already work will be the most beneficial. Also, keeping a consistent study location can help the brain retain the information. If the dorm desk, havener chair, or library table helped to stay focus all semester, it is recommended to continue this pattern.
During study sessions, it is important to remember to take frequent breaks. Standing up and moving around will help blood flow to the brain which helps with memory. Another important thing to remember is eating meals; when trapped up in a long study session, it can be easy to forget a meal or replace it with coffee, but keeping the body fed will keep up energy to maximize the amount of studying in a day. Even though finals are very crucial, it is equally important to take care of physical health as well.
One huge factor of success in finals week and the weeks prior is stress management. It can be very easy to get caught up in the swing of classes and tests and worry about grades; therefore, creating a balance has never been more important than these couple weeks. Constantly being surrounded by textbooks, notes, and study material can be detrimental to stress management. Understanding when it is time to take a break or go to bed earlier than expected can help make these weeks easier. Putting aside time to spend with friends or even alone and away from school subjects can help re energize and motivate students especially during such a stressful couple of weeks. The balance also goes both ways; when setting aside breaks, having a time to return to studying and sticking to it is important to fight of procrastination.
Still a few weeks out from finals week, there are plenty of ways to start preparing both academically and mentally. The best ways to be prepared for the long nights to come is stocking up on study snacks, setting up study groups, and planning study breaks.