7 May 2015
Finals are the necessary evil of your college experience. Like a bad roommate, they seem like all their good for is ruining your sleep, stressing you out, and making it impossible to do anything fun. The problem is, if you’re not proactive about kicking your finals in the butt, they’re going to get you first. The best way to succeed at finals is the rule – know your enemy. Find out the ways that you can end up being unprepared for your finals – and work on a strategy of avoiding these things and nailing your final exams like a pro.
Many students study for a test the night before and most of them don’t do that effectively. If you’re up all night playing Call of Duty, seven days a week, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Not only is it bad for your study habits (unless you’re studying for your “21st Century Weaponry” course), but it’s taxing for your brain. Be smart and leave your late-night shooting sessions for after finals week.
Tip: Try to get a really good night’s rest at least 2 nights before your exam. Get at least 6 hours of sleep the night before the big day. Choose the best time to study for finals.
You’re trying to keep your whole system going on just Red Bull and pizza? You’re setting yourself up for a fall. High calorie, low-nutrient foods like these make it more difficult for your neurons to fire, which means that you’re not thinking as well as you could be. Do your brain a favor and eat brain-boosting food before exam.
Tip: Eat protein-rich food before exam. Include eggs, nuts, yogurt, milk and whole-grain cereal in your pre-exam breakfast and you will feel increase in energy and brain activity.
Anyone who is coming around your apartment during finals week and being loud and obnoxious is not really your friend. You need to eliminate all the excess noise, commotion, and stress while you’re trying to prep for these important tests and projects.
Tip:Tell your insensitive friends to take a hike – until the week is over. Avoid people who are too nervous about finals – don’t let them making you nervous as well. Remember that solitude and quite music is better than loud company and destructive, negative mood of your roommate before exams.
Every time you sit down to write that final paper, what do you end up doing for hours? Probably, Facebook, Twitter, or online videos of some sort. These will undermine your chance for success, mostly because it is so easy to waste hours of vital prep time on them.
Tip: Turn off your social media with an app like AntiSocial.
Are you spinning your wheels highlighting frantically and trying to rote memorize historical dates?Research shows that highlighting alone is not effective for gathering information, especially during short-term cram sessions.
Tip: Study smarter by skimming texts, creating interactive memory banks, or putting your information to music.
If you’re stressed out and unprepared, cheating might look like an awfully good idea. Cheating is a high-risk, low-reward activity that might get you flunked out of your class or out of your college for good.
Tip: Instead of cheating, take some time and buckle down to your studies. You’ll learn more and be able to actually finish your degree.
Does it seem like your significant other starts to get pouty around finals week? Do you get into more arguments when he or she feels like you’re spending too much time studying? This person, while undeniably hot, is not good for you during finals week.
Tip: Talk to them ahead of time and explain how important it is for you to focus. If they throw a fit, maybe it’s time to take a break – they clearly don’t have your best interests in mind.
Rarely, you’ll get a teacher who is just no good. This person might not know the material, or they may just give you a final that has nothing to do with the coursework they’ve been presenting for the past 3 months.
Tip: If you get a test that is completely out of the ballpark (or that is poorly written, communicated, or graded), don’t be afraid to go to your counselor and the department chair. It’s likely that the teacher is tanking many more students and needs to be reprimanded.
There is a small group of students who think that they are so smart, they don’t really need to show up for class in order to get a good final grade. Not true. Many colleges actually factor your attendance into your final grade. And, there are often many questions on the final that come directly from the lectures.
Tip: Make sure you’re there every chance you get so you have a better chance of acing the exam.
Nothing tanks your finals score like feeling you’re going to fail. If you have test-taking anxiety issues, it’s likely you will freeze up during the test.
Tip: Consider some positive affirmations or stress-relieving activities beforehand. Also, talk with your teacher about possible alternative settings or options so that you don’t freeze during the exam.
Have any other tips or suggestions? Go ahead and share them in the comments below!
Tags: final exams study tips
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