No matter how you look at it, finals are a stressful time. Whether you're in undergrad or graduate school, you want to leave the semester feeling accomplished and not dreading receiving your grades. That can be difficult when you have a semesters worth of work and materials to get through. Implement some of our study tips below, and you'll be able to enjoy your break!
1. Stick to what works for you
Different methods of studying may work for some and not for others. Think about exams that you have taken in the past and how you prepared. From re-writing notes to study groups, organizing outlines or studying in silence, there are endless ways to study - so stick with what works! If you're unsure, try a few different approaches in the weeks leading up to the exam. Once you figure out what has helped the most, focus on that method as the exam date approaches.
Exams may not be the only thing you have to focus on towards the end of the semester. Besides in-class exams, there may also be papers, take home exams, and projects/presentations. Decide which of these tasks are going to require the most time. Make sure you don't neglect one for another. You may think that your project will be easy compared to a two hour final, but it is just as important to practice a speech or presentation as it is to study.
3. Make a schedule
It is SO important to have your schedule planned out for the last weeks of a semester. Even if you normally don't use a planner (FYI: you should!), create a calendar for this specific time of the year. In addition to scheduling out your study plan of attack, make sure to add in activities that will help keep you on track. Things like working out, doing laundry, and even grabbing a coffee with a friend will help keep you productive.
4. Get some sleep!
We know that you have been told this countless times, and really, who has time to spare during finals to sleep? But sleep is important! You need to give your body and brain a chance to process and rest after hours of review. Decide a reasonable time to end studying each night, and try to close the books. Of course, certain tests and projects may require extra time, but try and follow a smart sleep schedule. AND, when you finally do get into bed for the night, try and resist using your phone!
5. Plan something fun!
Plan something fun to get you through the long study days and nights ahead. Reach out to your friends and set a date for a get together before you all go home for the holidays. This will give you something to look forward to, when you think that you can not possibly study anymore!