The end of the school year is rapidly approaching, and everyone is buzzing with excitement for fun summer plans, warm weather, and no more homework. But before that final bell rings and summer vacation begins, almost all of us will have to take finals.
Final exams can cause a lot of stress and worry, especially if you don't know how to tackle them. Here are a few tips for studying and taking care of yourself during finals week.
Begin studying early, at least a few days before your exam. Be sure to give yourself enough time to study for each test. This may mean giving yourself more time for harder tests than your easier classes. Pace yourself when studying or you'll burn out.
Related: How to Study for Finals
When you begin studying early, you can take note of the things you don't understand, and you'll still have plenty of time to get help from a classmate, the teacher, or a tutor.
Make flashcards and study guides
Reread your notes and put the concepts you need to know on flashcards or a study guide. You can do this on paper or online with websites like Quizlet. I recommend making them on paper because it helps me remember the material better when I write them by hand.
Study with friends
If you and a friend have the same exams to take, studying together can be a good idea—as long as you don't distract each other! If you stay focused on the task at hand, two minds and two points of view will help both of you understand the material better.
Take breaks when studying
This goes along with not cramming. If you stare at the material for hours without a break, it will begin to run together and not stick. Brief breaks help you stay focused. Be mindful of distractions, however—a five-minute break can quickly turn into an hour without you even noticing if you aren't careful!
If you keep getting distracted while trying to study, it will take much longer to study the material and you’ll have a harder time remembering it. If you keep getting distracted by your phone, computer, or TV, make sure they’re powered off and somewhere you won't be tempted to mess with them. If you like to listen to music while studying, make sure you listen to music without words, so your brain focuses on the material rather than the words to your favorite song.
Get plenty of sleep
If you’re not well rested when you try to take your exams, it will be harder to recall the information you just spent time studying. You will have a much easier time if you’re awake and alert!
During finals week, a well-balanced diet is important because it leads to a healthy body and healthy mind. It will give you the nutrients and energy your body needs to stay alert during this time.
Good luck to everyone!
Get more advice for beating finals stress in our Majors and Academics section!