Finals is a stressful time for everybody, but study tips make them seem to go by a lot faster. I could say the usual “don’t wait until the last minute,” but those have been said and heard. These are the tried and true techniques that help me when I sit down to study for finals, and hopefully, they will help you as well.
1.Make a schedule
One week before finals, I grab two blank sheets of paper and make a blank week chart on both. I like to do it by hand because I’m picky about how I like to block out my time and it’s just easier for me to do visualize it. I start with my finals week chart – I plan out when my finals are and at what times so I know which ones I have more time to study for. When I’m done just charting out the dates and times of my finals, I make a study schedule for the next week. I try to be flexible with it and allow myself room to change it up. One thing I make sure to do is to write in time for me to relax. I can’t handle a solid week of studying without a few hours here and there to unwind.
2. Start with the easier finals
Start with the finals you don’t need as good of a grade on to get your desired overall letter grade. I always go to a finals calculator website and calculate out what I need on the final so I can plan out the finals I don’t need to spend time on. I get those out of the way first – I make quizlets or flashcards for them first so I can spend just a few hours right before the finals reviewing.
3. Be realistic
If you need a 95% on a final to get an A, it might be time to accept that B. I’m not one to accept defeat, but I know when something’s most likely not going to happen. Of course, if it’s a class you know you can do really well on and need an A, by all means, focus your energy there. But for most classes, getting an A on a final is unlikely and its best to channel your energy to on something else.
4. Know your study habits
I’ve learned over the years that I can only study in my house for so long. After a few hours, I need a change of scenery. I also know that I cannot study unless I have something playing in the background. Know yourself. Are you an auditory learner? A visual learner? Do you like flashcards or study guides? Do you like to look at things on a screen or do you need paper notes? Are you a night owl or an early bird? All of these things are important and can make the studying process go smoother.
5. Allow yourself time to recuperate
Don’t pack every second of your day with studying. Give yourself a couple hours to collect your thoughts and recover from a long study session. Studying is hard work. You’re bent over a desk, you’re straining your eyes, and you’re filling your head with information from months ago. Be kind to yourself and don’t burn yourself out.1