Everyone has their own unique way of studying and preparing for finals in college, but some methods are much more efficient than others. Unfortunately, an inefficient method of preparing for finals may be what keeps you from succeeding. Your finals are too important to mess up. Here are a few ways to stay on task and prepare yourself properly for the biggest exams of the year.
Study and complete the projects that will be worth more of your grade first. Make an ordered list of things to study and projects to complete based on time and importance. Without having some semblance of an agenda planned, it will become very easy for you to mismanage all of the study time that you have available to you. Know where you currently stand grade wise in your classes so you know how well you will have to do on the final to get the grade you desire.
Don't Fall behind
If you are behind in required class readings, you will have a lot of reading to do come finals. Make sure you learn the material the first time it's taught so you don't have to go back and review it. Sometimes, if you pay good attention in class, you can forgo some of the required reading.
You can accomplish much more quality study time in an academic-like atmosphere than studying at home. Cut out all distractions while brainstorming to help maintain your train of thought. Eliminating noisy distractions and working during the day when you are more alert are also great ways to improve efficiency when studying.
Be prepared for some seriously intensive studying and plan for it accordingly. Study when it best suits you. Some people have more energy in the daytime, while others have higher efficiency during the late hours of the night. Find what works best for you and dedicate your more difficult tasks to these study times.
Show up at your professor's office during office hours. Many office hours go unused by students, which is sad because professors are such a great resource of information (they know what will be on the test). The professor will see your dedication to learning and in doing so, it may even bump you up a grade.
More Finals Week Study Tips
- Study Aids - Use note cards, practice tests, tutors and teacher assistants as top study aids.
- Find a Study buddy - Pick out one of the smarter people in the class so you can team up and work together on upcoming tests and projects.
- Review Previous Tests - Go over previous tests throughout the quarter. Spend most of your time learning what you got wrong. You should also take the time to get to know the format of the final so that there are no opportunities for misunderstanding later.
- Cramming - Many say "cramming" is not the way to go, as you lose this information fast. If you do cram, it is recommended to do so within 24 hours of your final, so the content is fresh in your head. Review all of your material at least once through to deal with any and all unread materials. You should ensure that you understand all basic concepts before moving on to the next subject.
- All-Nighters - Many say try and maintain a "normal" sleeping schedule, however this is almost impossible. Yes, you will be pulling a couple of all-nighters, and you will be fine (maybe just a little worn out after finals week). Just remember to take short breaks in between tasks to give your brain a refresher.
- Caffeine - Perfect for the late night study sessions. Be sure to keep quantities of Red Bull and Mt. Dew on hand.
- Collaborate Notes - Share and compare class notes with fellow students.
All seriousness aside, if you don't know the the stuff on the final, "C" is not always the best answer. B is the new C.
It may be a rough week, but you'll be glad when it's over. There is a reason why they give you a nice long vacation break after finals...because finals can be grueling!.