You could load lots of money on your favorite coffeehouse card and pull all-nighters cramming for an exam, but that creates major stress on the body and mind, not to mention brain drain the day of the test. Why put yourself through that when there are other, more helpful rules to live by?
1. Manage your time wisely
One of the most daunting aspects of finals week is tackling the amount of work in relation to time. Some students find it beneficial to spend equal amounts of time studying for each subject. However, in some cases, it may be more beneficial to weigh factors such as difficulty, grade needed and knowledge of subject when determining how much time is necessary for each final. Of course, part of this time management comes from finding out necessary details about each test, such as whether it is comprehensive or cumulative or whether material comes from lecture or book.
2. Visit your professor
One of the best resources for determining what is on the final exam is from the person who is giving it. Most professors hold office hours in the days leading up to the test, and are usually more than happy to help you with your studies. After all, it is a part of their job description. Plus, you never know just how much information the professor is willing to share. You might be pleasantly surprised.
3. Disconnect, and connect
Today’s modern world can make it even harder to stay focused on the task at hand. With constant notifications popping up from Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, your curious eyes may wander from the paragraph on Henry VIII to your smartphone screen. The best way to combat this is to just disconnect. Not allowing yourself to log onto social networks or even turning off your phone can only help you. On the flip side, connecting yourself to the right people can help you tremendously. Get together with classmates and form a study group, or talk to previous students who can offer advice.
In addition to these tips, which have personally helped me, CAPS has come up with a list of their own tips intended to further help you study as well as on test day:
1. Get started early. Create a study plan, and make an outline about a week before your final is scheduled if it helps you organize your thoughts.
2. Make sure to get plenty of rest the morning of the test, making sure to eat a healthy breakfast. If you get stressed out, learning to use relaxation techniques can help.
3. During the test, focus on recall. Skip those questions you can't answer and go back once you've completed the rest. Also, checking your work when you're finished is a great way to catch the little mistakes you may have made along the way.
These are examples of how to effectively study for finals, but of course everyone has their own method for what works best and figuring that out is an essential skill you will learn in college. And lastly, here’s one more bit of motivation — the end is almost here! For now, back to the books.