Finals week has been known to wreak havoc on the life of more than one college student. It’s often a seven-day stretch of sleepless nights, lots of cramming, red-eyed study groups, and caffeine overdoses.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though. If you’re embarking on a college journey, you should know that there are ways to prepare for finals that don’t jeopardize your health and/or sanity. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for finals in college.
Start on Day One
Avoid waiting until the last minute to study for finals. Instead of hoping that you’ll have plenty of free time during finals week (hint: you won’t), start preparing for your finals by reviewing your notes on the very first day of school. Continue to review your notes and textbooks daily so that you gain a solid understanding of the course material. That way, you won’t have to pull marathon study sessions on the night before a test and hope that you’re alert enough to comprehend all the questions.
This dovetails nicely with the previous point. Cramming isn’t the best way to study because it’s a last-minute effort to fill your head with enough facts so that you can pass the final. It’s also typically a stress-filled endeavor and that doesn’t help you when it comes time to take the test.
Instead of cramming, adopt a study schedule throughout the semester. That way, finals week will be more of a review time as opposed to a time to quickly re-learn everything you should already know.
Yes, you should work out. There is scientific evidence showing that a good cardiovascular workout can improve your memory. Since memory is what you want at peak performance when you’re taking a test, give your body a healthy workout so that you can recall what you need to know when it’s time to take the final.
Your mind responds to how you treat your body. The way you treat your body is, in part, determine by what you put into it. Although it’s tempting to grab those nearby candy bars when you’re studying for a test so that you get a sugar high and find it easier to stay awake, you’re not doing your body a whole lot of favors with that type of intake. Instead, opt for a series of well-balanced meals that include complex carbohydrates, protein, and the vegetables that your mom always forced you to eat.
Mix Up Your Study Spots
Universities like Nova Southeastern are bound to have a variety of places to study. One of the quietest, and the best, is the library. However, you can also find some places that offer minimal distraction throughout the campus. Give yourself a change of scenery as you study and stimulate your brain a little more. That will help you retain what you’ve learned.
Finals week doesn’t have to be hell week at your college or university. With a few good study habits, you can simply use the “home stretch” period to just review what you’ve been learning all semester and ace that final exam.