Finals Tips and Tricks

Finals Tips and Tricks

Maggie Maisano, Staff Writer

Finals week is coming up, which starts on January 18th, and ends on January 21st. This is an especially busy and stressful time for students, finishing projects and studying for exams. Balancing school and other responsibilities can be a challenge, especially trying to find time for studying. It can be difficult to find effective study methods and actually put them into practice. If you’re struggling with finding the right study methods and schedule, here are some tips that could help.


  1. Study in reasonable amounts of time

A common misconception is that you have to study for long periods of time in order to cover all of the material. It’s actually better to study for shorter periods of time, 20-30 minutes at a time. Multiple shorter study sessions can actually help you retain a higher percentage of the material that you are studying. To help remember the content of your classes better, space out your study sessions rather than cramming before the big test.


  1. Reading and re-reading is not studying

Reading and re-reading content quickly leads to forgetting the material. Although highlighting, reading, and repeating information will keep you engaged in the material, it will not help you to retain the information. Instead, work on making connections to the material by creating your own quizzes and tests to know what you need to improve on, create examples that relate to the material, and make flashcards. These studying techniques will help you to remember the material better.


  1. Find environments where you can stay on track

Figure out where and when you study best. Some people can focus better late at night rather than in the morning. Some find it easier to study in coffee shops with background noise, or in a quiet space with no distractions. Find a spot where you can focus on what you need to study without getting distracted. 


  1. Become the teacher

Another way to help better understand what you’re studying is by saying it out loud. Explaining a concept out loud helps to strengthen your understanding as well as improve your memory on the subject. Use examples and make connections with the material just as a teacher would do to help you retain the content. 


  1. Fuel your study sessions

Being hungry can distract you from what you are trying to focus on studying. Bring snacks that will keep you alert and focused, and stay away from foods that are high in sugar, fat, and processed carbs, such as nuts, fruits such as grapes or apple slices, dark chocolate, etc. 


  1. Don’t multitask

The ability to multitask is a common myth. Multiple studies have confirmed that multitasking, doing more than one thing at the same time, is actually a myth. Multitasking doesn’t actually improve your efficiency, and can actually negatively affect your results because it increases the amount of time that you have to learn the content and lowers the quality of your studying. 


  1. Create specific study goals 

Rather than stressing yourself out with a large amount of information, focus on learning specific content, which can help with remembering the information better and improve your confidence in that particular subject. Having specific study goals helps to ensure that your studying sessions are concise and effective. 


  1. Use pictures and visuals 

Using pictures from class notes can boost your memory of the content. Paying attention to pictures and visual aids can help create mental models that will help you better understand and recall the material. 


  1. Join a study group

Studying doesn’t always have to be an individual task. There are many benefits of being in a study group, such as explaining the material to each other, being able to ask questions, quizzing each other, and more. Try studying with a few classmates if you think it would be beneficial to your studying.


  1. Mistakes are okay

Some argue that mistakes are a primary key to learning. If you are quizzing yourself, don’t just focus on the answers you got right, but also focus on the ones you got wrong. If you don’t focus on the wrong answers, you won’t find out what the right answer actually is, which could affect your studying. By looking at the wrong answers, you can figure out what you need to focus on. 


This can be a stressful time for some, trying to figure out what needs to be done before the semester ends. It’s time to start hustling and figuring out what needs to be taken care of before grade books close. Wishing everyone success for finals week and the upcoming semester!