Studying feverishly as exams approach can be a major source of stress, but there are some strategies that you can use to make it through the crucible that is finals season. Photo by Feitian Ma
It is officially finals season, that special time of year when the air is heavy with anxiety and the students retreat into caffeine-fueled study sessions. As we all prepare for the end of the semester, keep these tips in mind to stay sane and motivated.
When you study, study smart. Use all the resources your instructor posts on Blackboard and always ask for help. Katy Ann Carr, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, chuckled as she said, “I check Blackboard frequently, but apparently not frequently enough.” You would be surprised to see how often professors update Blackboard during finals week. Keep yourself aware of any changes.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to studying. Often times, you just need to find what works for you. Some may prefer a quiet room, but background noise helps others. If you notice you are getting distracted in your current study environment, modify it so that you can focus better.
Some courses are especially difficult. The content can be dense, and some professors do little to help. If you find yourself struggling to grasp the material, try making it more relatable. “Finding relationships between things in a single class and between classes helps to reinforce the knowledge,” said Austin King, a sophomore biology major. “Even drawing connections between real life and coursework can make the material more digestible.”
Also, while studying, remember to focus on what you do not know more than what you do. It may feel great to get all the answers right while you’re studying, but you do not get to pick and choose what questions to answer on the exam. Cover as much material as possible while you are studying to avoid any surprises on the exam.
The importance of knowing when and where your exams are taking place cannot be overstated. You do not want to be the student who sleeps through their alarm and arrives to the exam late. Josh Leginze, a sophomore chemistry major, exclaimed, “Google Calendar is a life saver!” Saving your exam schedule to your calendar ensures that you will always know when an exam is coming up.
You can even take it one step further and get an exam buddy. If you have friends in your class, look out for them. Something as small as a text reminding them of the exam can be very helpful.
As important as it is to study, remember to prioritize self-care as well. There is no point to knowing all the information if you are too exhausted to remember it during the exam. Sleep, eat and exercise to keep your mind sharp during finals season. Whether it is walking or playing video games, give yourself time to decompress.
Finals do not have to be the worst week of your life. Make sure to put the work in, but be sure to avoid driving yourself crazy while doing so.