Finals are coming. This is probably the most insane and challenging time of the year for many students, making them sleep less and study more. If you are the one who lives on caffeine and energy drinks during your exam weeks, then you should definitely keep reading to learn about things that can make it easier for you to study for your finals.
Step 1: Plan Your Study Sessions
Everything looks much clearer and easier when you know what you need to do next and what is expected of you. For example, when you are cooking, you know when to add ingredients, and what temperature to set in your oven. When talking about finals, the same strategy is applied – you need a plan, a recipe for success, a clear organized set of things that you should go through. So, start with writing down all the finals and their dates, to know when you should be prepared.
The best way is to put the date of the exams into the calendar for visibility. After this, you can start working on your study schedule, planning how much time exactly you will need to get prepared for each of your exams.
After this, make sure to check out if there is a list of possible questions or paragraphs, topics, formulas, tasks, cases that will definitely be on the exam. Many professors have such things listed in the syllabi or in the letter sent to you as a guide for your upcoming exam. If you have no such information, you should go through all of the material paragraph by paragraph and mark which topics or principles are the least clear for you.
Step 2: Go from the Hardest to the Easiest
Start with the points that you can’t memorize or understand to the fullest. Each person is different and we all memorize information in different ways – some people are great at remembering dates, formulas, etc. The more time you dedicate to the most challenging aspects of the topic, the more successful your studying will be.
So, what you can do is to look through all of your notes and the textbook material, additional material, and classes plan to highlight things in which you want to put the most of your effort. As you go, try to stick to the rule of “hardest first, easiest last.” It will give you much more confidence in your knowledge and allow you to take a little break when you just need to freshen up your memories right before the exam.
Step 3: Practice Tests
Practicing is the key to success. It’s always easier to learn and memorize information when you gain knowledge through tests and practice questions that give you an opportunity to try yourself. If you are working on a section that is challenging for you to understand, put as much effort into practice tests as you can. It might help you out on your exam as we tend to memorize some facts better after we fail, discovering the right answer.
You can find preparation tests online on various resources that are created for students like you or in the textbooks, that provide exam preparation questions. Make sure you also look through the tests you completed throughout the semester – there can also be some useful information for you.
Another way to get ready is to try completing an old version of the exam, they are sometimes available for students’ access. Trying one of them is an effective technique that helps you better understand what type of questions will be on exams and also get used to the format.
Step 4: Multiple Subjects – Multiple Sessions
Many students make the mistake of cramming before the exam date. However, it’s not effective at all as it only creates a mess in your head. Long study sessions are also not effective due to the stress and tiredness they cause. So, the best way is to take breaks during your sessions to let your brain relax and break large sections of material into smaller parts.
Some students will find it easier to switch from one subject to another throughout the day. However, it’s not a strategy that works equally well for everyone. You can try it to understand what works better for you – studying multiple subjects each day or focusing on one. Look through the material and notes periodically, and make sure you take one more glance at them right before the exam.
We wish you good luck and hope that your finals will be at least not as scary as you expect them to be. We are all nervous before the exam week, so try to ease your level of stress with good sleep and healthy meals that will help your mental health. Good luck!