With it already November, it’s hard to remember that finals are quickly approaching, especially with all the giving thanks and being around family. Finals are those exams we dread, and put off, and forget about until it’s the Sunday before and suddenly we’re completely overwhelmed with stress. Well, have no fear, I’m here with five quick tips for preparing finals so well they’ll feel easier than you expect.
(1) Schedule it out. Make a review and study plan. For my law school exams, I have a seven week plan that allows me to see what I need to do in a week. Update an outline? Work on the graded memo? Type up class notes? Whatever it is, it’s somewhere on my timeline. I know this concept can stress people out more, but sometimes not knowing where to start is worse. If you have a loose framework from which you can work task by task, you’ll be much more stress free come December.
(2) Get enough sleep! Waiting until the last minute to study can make you compromise sleep. Don’t allow yourself to fall behind on sleep. Make sure you’re getting a solid night’s sleep every night in the weeks leading up to finals. I know so many people who pulled all nighter’s and while that worked for them, they were definitely burnt out by the end. Make sure you have enough energy to perform well on each exam, and enjoy the holiday break when it arrives. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but you can’t enjoy it if you’re catching up on all the sleep you lost during finals.
(3) Take breaks that relieve stress and keep you active. Go for a hike, hit the gym, go to something with friends. What I mean is, don’t go sit on the couch for five hours, allowing yourself to totally veg out. Try to do things that allow you to relieve stress, but also build up your stamina so you have the energy to keep going.
(4) Dedicate an hour a day to review. While scheduling out major tasks is super helpful, you should also aim to review for an hour a day. Whether you read through notes, re-evaluate something you went over class, etc. you should be reviewing to make sure you’re comprehending and solidifying concepts in your mind. The biggest part of studying is review. Review from now until you really get into the studying, and that final push will seem much lighter since you have a strong grasp of the material.
(5) Remember to breathe. Sometimes I get to this place where I put my head down, and just plow through November and finals and forget to breathe. Finals are scary, but its important to do your best, and relax. The more anxious you get, the less well you will perform!
What are you top tips for studying for finals?