Whether you are studying for your first final or your last, those last two weeks of the semester can be truly hectic. But you can (and will!) survive. All it takes is some patience, preparation and persistence. Here are a few tips to help you do your best without letting finals get the best of you.
1. Get organized! One thing I tell any students I discuss finals with is to get everything in order as soon as you can. Keep all of your classwork, notes, homework, essays, quizzes and tests in order at the start of the semester so that when finals come around, you have everything in chronological order and your ready to tackle those tests!
2. Make sure you are clear with what will be on tests. It definitely does not hurt to ask the professor
3. Change up your environment. The library is the preferred place to study, but what about that cool coffee bar down the start? Or those empty rooms in your dorm? Sometimes it can refresh your brain – and your mood – to
4. Change up your studying. Sometimes our brains hit a limit on a certain topic before they start to burn out a bit. Varying your studies with a carefully planned out schedule by day can help you break up the monotony and keep your mind fresh every time you move on to a new subject. Just be sure you are devoting the right amount of time to cover each subject evenly. For example, if you know that your calculus class will require more effort and time for you to study for than your political science course, then allocate a few more hours to calculus in your schedule.
5. Stay away from too much coffee. Overstimulation from caffeine can work for a little while but the crash afterward can be hard to deal with. Try eating a balanced diet during finals with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, protein and lots of water. Keep sugars to a minimum.
6. Get some good sleep. I know, I know, when would you be able to squeeze in any time for that? Well, studies have definitely shown that reduced quality sleep can have a negative impact on memory retention and, of course, alertness. Be good to your body and your brain and get at least 6 – 8 hours of sleep each night. Forego that late night out and opt for more low-key hang-out activities during finals so that you can come home early and rest. You’ll have plenty of time to go out after finals and celebrate the end of the semester!
7. Start a study group. Don’t feel as if you have to tackle finals all by yourself. Certain subjects are conducive to group studying and discussion, so get a group together when it makes sense and pool together your resources. Just make sure you stay on track and also devote time in those classes to your own individual study sessions!