It’s the end of the semester. This time of year is full of football games, crisp weather, holiday decorations, and…exams. Despite all the fun activities the end of the semester has to provide, it is also the time of projects, papers, and exams worth a sizable amount of your final grade. Fear not! Here are some tried and tested tips that will help you get through.
Final Exams: 7 tips for studying and 6 ways to reduce stress
Just remember: the stress, sleeplessness, and brain drain of finals week shall too pass; but in the meantime, consider these study tips and stress reducers.
Study Tips (Adapted from the Huffington Post and US News)
- Study in chunks. It’s official: cramming is not the best way to study. According to the Dartmouth Academic Skills Center, you should study in 20-50 minute increments and take a 5 to 10 minute break between each session.
- Alternate study spots. The New York Times explained that, rather than sticking to one area, you should switch things up when studying for exams.
- Form a study group. They can motivate you to get started when it’s hard to motivate yourself, and explaining concepts out load to others can help you figure out what you understand and what you still need to go over.
- Get some exercise. Some suggest that just 20 minutes of cardio a day can help improve your memory. Also, taking a break in nature is more relaxing than a stroll in the city. There’s also the option of a dance break in your dorm room!
- Study differently for each class. If you try to study for your algebra exam the same way you study for your English exam, you might not do very well. Check out this guide to learn how to study for math exams, language exams, and more.
- Start with what you know and add to it. If you build on what you already know by slowly increasing the amount and difficulty of information you study, you can connect new information with familiar information and you won’t forget the basics.
- Make studying interesting. It’s harder to remember lists of “boring facts” than a story, so try to connect with what you’re studying. Using memory aids and making information more personal with make it much easier to learn.
- Puppies! Or kittens! Or other furry friends! There are few things more enjoyable than playing with a fuzzy animal, and after 15 minutes or so, you’ll be rejuvenated and ready to hit the books again.
- Exercise. Go for a run, attend a yoga class, or take a bike ride. It can make you feel like a new person (and remember to drink lots of water afterward to stay hydrated)!
- Bake a healthy treat. Baking can be a surprisingly soothing activity, so try making a healthy goodie and you’ll have something fast that will fuel your brain.
- Now talk it out. Don’t keep your anxiety bottled up inside! Chat with a friend or family member, tell them what’s stressing you out, and ask for advice if you want it. Verbalizing the things on your mind helps ease the worry and calm you down.
- Perform a simple act of kindness. Spend a couple hours volunteering or help your roommate unload groceries. Sometimes just doing something nice for another person is the best way to get yourself to stop obsessing about your own problems.
- Take a break from social media. Spending too much time on Facebook and Twitter when finals are approaching will likely only add to your stress levels. Turn off social media email notifications so you’re not tempted to log on and enjoy the freedom!