Student Advice for Finals Season

Whether you’re an 18 year-old freshmen experiencing your first departmental exam on an early Saturday morning or you’re a seasoned graduate student preparing for days for a 300 point comprehensive final for graduation, when it is finals season, everyone suffers.

Just like the dreaded flu season, finals season creeps up on us. In month leading up to it, we’re all aware of its presence, we’re given study guides and helpful prep sessions like their antibiotics. And just like waking up one morning only being able to breathe out of one side of your nose, your finals shock you to your core disrupting every plan you made after Study Day.

In case Study Day wasn’t the 24 hours of dedicated homework time as you’d plan, here are a compilation of a few tricks and hints gathered over the years that have proven successful. Give them a try this finals season and hopefully you won’t be bed stricken when the next comes around.

Assess your situation: Compile all your finals, what subject is what day and at what time and this why you cannot forget about any of them. Rank the finals in order of most difficult and time-consuming to those that do not require as much preparation. Your hardest subjects will demand the most time dedicated to studying and should be put first on your priority list.

Make a schedule: Starting Study Day map out your every move you’ll make until your first big final. By scheduling down to the hour you leave a small margin of error that will lead you astray while studying. Factor in one to two-hour study blocks with 15 minute intervals. Stay true to the times and break times because you may get cabin fever and you’ll learn to utilize the break time.

Seclude yourself: Perhaps during mid-terms studying with friends or roommates was fun and made the time past, but did it help you earn a decent grade?  If the answer is no, then you may want to reconsider relocating yourself to a more private studying area. Being a non social hermit crab during finals preparation days is not unheard of and will do more good than damage in the long run. Find what type of study environment works best for you, whether it’s complete silence or plugging in soft music over your headphones.

Reward yourself: For every time you get through your seven page study guide without picking up your phone or answering a text message, reward yourself with five minutes of technology. Get on Twitter, check our Facebook or return a few text messages, anything to give your brain a mental breather will help you in getting motivated and reenergize for another long study session.

While these tips have proven helpful for some, they may not be the exact saving grace you need this finals season. Similar to when you would call your mom for advice on what type of flu medication to take, consider consoling friends and classmates about their useful study habits. Professors often are more generous during finals season and are an excellent resource for study guide help or answering questions.

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