It’s that time of year again, folks: finals. We’re in the home stretch! Just one more week before you can go home, lay in bed and spend endless hours binging Netflix with your dog. But in order to get there, you need to get through this week without dying. So, courtesy of The Daily Campus, here’s a master list of study tips to get you through your exams and on your way home.
Don’t be a passive studier. One of the biggest mistakes students make is passive studying. In other words, they read over their notes a few times and call that studying. The issue is, this isn’t a very effective way of studying. You need to be more engaged with the information. Make a Quizlet, make a pneumonic device, teach a friend or form a study group. Be an active studier and find ways to quiz yourself instead of simply reading over your notes.
Make lists. Organize your notes by common categories, also known as “chunking” the information. Make a list of all the important dates, any important people, the key concepts, etc. Your brain is better at handling and remembering information when it’s chunked into smaller categories. It’s why the phone number 860-555-0102 is easier to remember than the number 8605550102.
Compare your notes. Compare your notes with a friend’s. See what information they may have written down that you didn’t and what connections, study strategies or ways to remember things that they may have made. You’ve probably run across questions on exams before that weren’t in your notes but that your friend remembered, and this can be a great way of making sure you’re studying everything that you should be.
Use the five minute rule. If something on your to-do list takes less than five minutes to complete, do it immediately. Check your list again and repeat.
Find a friend for accountability. Make goals with your friends. Choose an hour or whatever duration of time you want and make a list of what you want to accomplish. Share it with your friend and have them share theirs with you. At the end of the time, check in with them and make sure you both accomplished what you needed to. You’re more likely to get stuff done when someone else is holding you accountable.
Final essay tips. If you have a final essay for one of your classes instead of a final exam, here are some ways to make your essay shine. Make sure you get to your point and explain things as simply as possible. If your sentence still means the same thing without a few words, just delete them. Also, always make sure to go back and edit your introduction after you finish your paper. You often stumble upon new ideas and change your thesis while you’re writing your paper, so make sure to reflect these changes in your introduction. If you’re stuck on what to write, pull out all the quotes you want to use in your paper and write around them.
Aside from that, just make sure you eat well, get some sleep and set aside time for breaks. You’re almost there! Winter break is just around the corner. Bunker down, get to studying and ace your finals. You’ll be free in no time.
Courtney Gavitt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.