When you're prepping for final exams, do you stay organised? Or do you procrastinate, then try to cram by pulling several all-nighters and rolling into exam day exhausted? With planning, you can ace your finals without all the associated stress. Here's what to do as exam day approaches.
1. Make a Master Calendar
Preferably, plan your calendar at the start of your semester. But if you postponed doing so, schedule your study time now. Invest in a planner or use an app to organise a to-do list.
Once you know which courses require a more significant time investment to master the material, adjust your calendar accordingly. Even when you don't have specific assignments due, allot time for reviewing notes and taking practice quizzes. Include time on your calendar for rest and moderate exercise, as well.
Staying focused, staying on top of your requirements and planning ahead will help you with exams and keep your education on-track to graduation.
2. Start Early and Study as You Go
To break the habit of last-minute cramming, start your preparation for exams early. Start reviewing your notes and highlight areas you don't fully understand so you can seek supplementary materials or ask for assistance.
Changing technology impacts your attention span, so starting your review early improves your ability to focus. To absorb the subject matter better, focus on one topic at a time. Take breaks in between study sessions to chat with friends or have a snack.
3. Meet With Your Teachers During Office Hours
Your teachers want to see you succeed. However, as the end of the semester nears, many instructors experience an influx of students with special requests. Beat the crowd and impress your teacher by scheduling a meeting well in advance of finals.
They can suggest supplementary activities to increase your understanding. They can also help connect you with tutoring resources. Sometimes, hearing the information explained differently improves your comprehension.
4. Join or Form a Study Group
Study groups not only help you excel academically, but they also can lead to lifelong friendships. Plus, study groups allow you to explain your knowledge out loud, which helps solidify your understanding. Many universities feature established study groups for particular disciplines.
If you can't find a study group for your specific course, start your own by asking your instructor to send an email inquiring about student interest. Once you have a list of interested students, stay flexible and friendly, and organize study times that work for everyone.
5. Feed the Machine
You can't perform at your best if you're malnourished, and university diets aren’t always the best — so focus on healthier eating to fuel your brain.
Make a shopping list of easy-but-nutritious grab-and-go foods. For example, string cheese provides a hefty dose of calcium without many calories. Individual servings of nuts and seeds boost your intake of magnesium, a mineral necessary for brain and neurological health.
6. Get Adequate Rest
Finally, hit the hay early the night before your exams — but don’t try to catch up on lost sleep from the rest of the semester. Sleeping extra to make up for lost sleep will actually make you more tired.
Strive to keep a regular bed and wake time the week before your exams — and whenever you can.
You Can Rock Your Final Exams
With planning, you can ace your final exams — without stress or anxiety. Make a schedule, work with your professors and classmates, and prepare to excel!
Thanks for writing for us, Alyssa!
Alyssa Abel is an education blogger with a particular interest in student life, study skills and helping all students reach their potential. Read more of her work on her blog, Syllabusy, connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.
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