Finals time is coming up; papers are piling up, highlighters are running wild through textbooks, and your planner looks like a warzone. This may be a dramatic description of the times, but for some of us it is reality. How can us college students get out of finals week not sleep deprived and maybe even feeling accomplished? Well here's some things you can do to make finals less chaotic and more orderly:
Start Where Your Semester Did: The Syllabus
Your syllabus is going to be your best friend. This shows you an overview of everything you did throughout the semester. This is the stuff that is going to be on the exam. It is best to first define what you need to know so you don’t become overwhelmed or off topic with your studies. If you do come across a class were you don’t have a syllabus (Ugh I know) talk to your professor. Catching them before or after class or even during office hours to ask “How can I best prepare for your exam?” can give you more information than you think. Usually if you are willing to work with your professor they will be willing to work with you.
Utilize Study Guides
If your professor gives you a study guide take full advantage of it. Treat that study guide like homework and something you need to do even if it isn’t part of your grade. It may be time consuming, but it is so worth it in the end. Usually study guides are filled with exam questions so why wouldn’t you want to know answers ahead of time? It is basically the upgraded version of your syllabus. Instead of general topic listings you will need to know study guides break it down into specifics.
Review Old Tests And Quizzes
History tends to repeat itself. Many of the questions you had to answer previously may be questions you will have to answer on the final. It’s worth it to look back on exams and even use them as a study tool to quiz yourself.
Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
Yes finals can be overwhelming, especially if you are doing it all by yourself; realize you don’t have to. Study groups can be so beneficial. Get together with friends or classmates to look over material and cross check notes. Just talking through material can really make things click. Others may present information in a different way or bring up points you would’ve otherwise forgot to study.
Plan It Out
Now you know what to do, so you have to do it. The best way of avoiding procrastination is to commit to what you have to do. Get your planner out or scrap paper and write down what you need to do each day up to finals to prepare. Be specific as possible with this. What will you do with your time? Re-read a chapter? Create flashcards and go over vocabulary? Study with some classmates? This may be tedious but it will result in clear study goals to keep you on track.
Study hard and good luck everybody!
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