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Finals prep for procrastinators

Geoffrey Fairchild

Geoffrey Fairchild

Cammi Chiste, Staff Writer

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So we’re approaching finals. Teachers have handed out review guides, our parents are making us study, and most people are freaking out. Finals are a stressful time of year for many students. Even people with great grades often get stressed as finals approach. If you’re a procrastinator like myself, studying can be difficult. The amount of information to remember can be overwhelming, making it hard to know where to start. If you’re struggling to prepare for final exams, hopefully these tips will help you feel less stressed and more confident when you go into those tests.

Getting Started

The first thing to do before studying is to make a plan and set some goals for yourself. WRITE THESE DOWN. If it’s on paper you’ll be more likely to go through with it. Figure out what you need to get to maintain your grade, but be realistic. 20% isn’t really that much, so don’t expect your grade to go up (or down) dramatically.

Making Time

Schedule your study time. Don’t just tell yourself that you’re going to study (you know you won’t). By scheduling your studying, you’ll feel more inclined to actually do it.

Study Space

You’ve probably heard this a million times, but try to find a quiet, tidy space to study. If you’re in a loud, cluttered area you won’t be able to focus. If you don’t have a good study space at home, go to the library; just make sure you have all the supplies you need.

Time Management

The Pomodoro technique is super helpful with making the most of your study time and staying focused. When using the pomodoro technique you study for 45 minutes and then take a 15 minute break. During your break do something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, move away from your study area and spend your time on something unrelated to school work. Just make sure you set a timer so you don’t get totally off track.

Studying

  • Make a note card for your exam, even if your teacher doesn’t allow you to have it the day of the test. Making a note card forces you to condense the information you need to know and in writing it down you’re more likely to remember it.
  • Try speed reading textbook sections or parts of that novel you didn’t read from the start of the semester. This isn’t the best way to retain information, but it helps more than doing nothing.
  • Do practice problems for math, science, or language classes. If teachers let you look at your old tests and quizzes, write down some problems and solve them later on. Also do problems from homework and check them later.

  Sleep

You should try to get a little extra sleep a few days before finals start. Being well rested will help you stay more focused on both your studying and the tests themselves. DON’T pull all-nighters, you’ll do even worse on the tests because you’ll be too tired to function properly.

It’s Not The End of the World

Keep in mind that finals don’t impact your grades that much unless you’re right in between grades. If you don’t do as well as you wanted to that’s O.K., you’ll have plenty of other tests to take. And once finals are over you get to start a new semester with a clean slate to do even better than before.

Good luck on your exams guys!

 

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Finals prep for procrastinators