by KAITLYN BOEHLER
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but one thing always ruins the holiday spirit: final exams.
Final exams are just around the corner, and your studying habit can make or break your exam performance. Take a look at the five study tips for finals below to help you come out of this challenge on top.
1. Plan: The final examinations are crammed into a few days (Dec. 5-8). It may be difficult to structure your preparation time during this week, so it’s crucial that you have a study schedule planned ahead. Your study schedule should include designated time to study and the subjects. Some exams may be more difficult or be worth more of your final grade than others, so evaluate your exams to determine how to divvy up your time.
2. Decide which studying pattern best suites you: There are three learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.
Visual learners learn best by what they read and see; for them, the easiest ways to study are to write out notes, make flashcards, and color-code information.
Auditory learners learn best through listening. For best results, they read notes aloud and teach someone else the material.
Kinesthetic learners learn best when they are physically active or through learning activities that involve active participation. Those who fall into this category should keep active during breaks or while studying (such as walking on the treadmill), make flashcards, and draw images or diagrams.
3. Know what to study: Professors may supply a study guide; however, be skeptical of their generosity. Study guides aren’t always comprehensive; they only suggest the main concepts to remember. Use the study guide only as a guide and fill in the blanks with related information. With that, be sure to focus on the “unknowns.” The unknowns could be concepts that you struggled with or a chapter you didn’t understand. Do not start with the material you know; you have limited time, so focus on the unknowns.
4. Do NOT cram: One of the worst things you can do is cram. Balance is key, so ensure that you reward your studying with breaks to recharge and relax. Study in intervals of 20 minutes to an hour and allow yourself 10-minute breaks in between. It’s also important to not pull all-nighters or skip meals; get some sleep and eat!
5. Minimize distractions: Many prefer to listen to music, text friends, or have the television on while studying. This is a huge no-no. You are more likely to be distracted and not retain material. If you need background noise, listen to instrumental music through Pandora or YouTube. (I suggest listening to The Piano Guys or Hans Zimmer.) Instrumental music relieves anxiety and enhances learning.
More importantly, put away your phone. I know, it may seem like the end of the world, but it will make a huge difference. Your friends will understand if you can text only during a break. Besides, they should be studying, too. As for social media? Believe it or not, it’ll still be there when you’re finished.
I wish everyone the best of luck on their final exams!