It’s finals week! After 4.5 years of college, here are some of my random tips. Thanks for visiting! If you have anything to add, throw it in the comments and help everyone out!
1. PREPARE YOURSELF TO STUDY! GET EXCITED! KEEP YOUR ENERGY LEVEL HIGH
Tell yourself that you’re going to study, at the end of the day you’ll have mastered the material and that you’re going to feel great.
2. CALL HOME: REQUEST A SYMPATHY CARE PACKAGE
This is the perfect time to get some sympathy free food, money, underwear or whatever from parents. Don’t miss this opportunity!
3. CREATE YOUR STUDY SCHEDULE
Break your schedule down for the week. Know when you’re going to study for each exam, how you’ll study and mark it into your calendar. Knowing your schedule will help you fight procrastination. Don’t forget to add things like “Lunch,” “Showers,” and other essentials to your schedule.
4. ELIMINATE DIGITAL DISTRACTION
• Deactivate your Facebook – if you know nothing’s been updated to your profile since you last checked, you won’t feel the need to check it. Here’s a link on How to Deactivate Facebook.
• Stay away from Netflix, Project or even YouTube. Now is NOT the time to start or catch up on an episode of your favorite TV series. “Just one more episode” quickly becomes an entire series
• Close unnecessary tabs on your browser.
5. FIND YOUR PERFECT STUDY SPACE
• Find a place that is quiet, low traffic, spacious, good lighting and little distraction (away from TV screens).
• I always have all of my study materials organized across the table or on the ground within reach While studying your notes, you may find a term that needs to be looked up or a concept that you remember seeing somewhere else. Having things out in arms reach makes it easier (and more likely) that you’ll reach out and look up that topic rather than saying you’ll check it out later and forget.
• Move. Don’t study in the same place all the time. Stand up and find a new study space. A change of scenery will help keep you alert.
6. PUPPIES, KITTIES, FISH AND BABIES
• Puppies and Kitties boost your energy.
• Fish are relaxing and mind-blowing (People who say fish are boring just aren’t doing it right. Watching fish is beneficial to exercise the mind. They’re calming to watch and will blow your mind as you wonder how they communicate, sleep, breath, do it, etc). Watching them helps prepare you for studying because it makes you inquisitive. It helps you to ask interesting questions. This is the key to scholarly success. So want to ace a test? Buy a fish. Contact me- I have too many guppies. You can have some.
• Babies are just adorable. Enough said.
7. STUDY WITH FRIENDS/IN A GROUP (ONLY IF IT MAKES SENSE)
• 1-2 friends can be beneficial to keep you energetic, to help you review material – quiz each other! However, larger groups quickly become hangouts.
• Find some ambient music (Like Train Sounds or Thunderstorms). Listening to this helps me block out random chatter when studying.
8. SAY NO AND BE STUBBORN
Say no to everything that will become a distraction. Say, a friend asks you to go to a party and you have an exam tomorrow morning – say no. You want that grade right? You have one chance at this GPA, and many other options for partying after.
9. 50:10 RULE – TAKE BREAKS
Try the 50:10 rule. Break up every hour: 50 minutes for studying and 10 for a break. In that 50, completely focus on studying (No distractions!). In that 10, actually take a break. Do something fun or productive. Grab a snack. Fill up your water bottle. Rest your eyes. Take a walk! Maybe a quick jog or find a new place to study. Something to get pumped up for your next round of 50. Exactly at the 10 minute mark, force yourself to resume studying. Set a timer/alarm. *** Tip: If you type in “50 minute timer” on Google, it’ll set a 50 minute timer.
10. BUBBLE WRAP
Buy some. It’s a great study break. It’s amusing, calming and startles people around you. Give them some. It’s finals week. You’ve made a new friend. Here’s a link for Virtual Bubblewrap.
11. PRIORITIZE AND STUDY ONLY WHAT IS NEEDED
• Ask your professors about the material you might expect to be covered on the exam and for information on how the exam will be organized. Some professors enjoy a few in depth essay questions whereas others rapid fire multiple choice, true/false, short answers, etc. Knowing the exam design will help you decide on how to study.
• Look at your current grades and calculate percentages to see how well you have to do on the final for each of your classes in order to reach your goal (Final grade in the class). Focus your studying on the courses that you need to achieve a better grade.
• Within each class, study only the information that will be important for the final exam. Don’t study chapter 4 if you know it won’t show up on the final.
12. CREATE STUDY CARDS/OUTLINES
Outlines and study cards (flash cards) can be awesome! ONLY IF you create them early – say four days to a week before the final. Otherwise, they’re time consuming and take away from your studying.
13. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
• Sleep early and wake up early but don’t try to extremely change your sleep schedule. If you usually go to bed at 2am, then don’t try to start going to bed at 10pm… you’ll just end up rolling around in bed thinking about random things and wasting time. Listen to some ambiant music, it might help.
• Stay away from bright screens (TV, computer, tablet, phones, etc) before going to bed.
•Review the most important information before sleeping – it’ll be the last thing you think about and first thing you’ll remember waking up.
• Don’t eat large meals before sleeping.
• Don’t forget to brush!
14. SEX – 2:1 RULE
Find someone you trust – possibly your girlfriend/boyfriend, or that cute neighbor you gave bubble wrap to. Make sure it’s consensual, use protection and help each other de-stress for finals. Use the 2:1 rule. Think of it this way, the more subjects to study for, the more tension you should release. Sex is a two-person deal. Two people- so twice per subject. The 2:1 rule.
Go for a jog, or a walk, or maybe dancing to loud music! Get rid of that extra anxiety and tension. 10-20 minutes is all you need to help you feel great and relaxed before resuming your studies.
16. REMEMBER TO EAT WELL
Coffee and a bag of chips won’t do it. Drink a lot of water, fruit juice, tea, eat granola bars, cereal, fruits, vegetables, etc. Don’t forget the protein! Stay away from candy.
17. LADIES, ROCK THE MESSY BUN:
This is more so for the ladies. I’m completely serious, it’s sexy. Fella’s (and anyone interested in women), back me up here.
18. GENTS, ROCK THE MESSY BEARD:
On second thought, Don’t. Groom that face bush! Everyone, back me up here.
19. DON’T BECOME AN ENERGY SUPPLEMENT JUNKIE
This is pretty important. Use common sense: Consecutive Red Bulls, Coffee, Five Hour Energy Shots, Caffeine Pills, etc. Is NOT good for you. Take one if you really need it; otherwise, Drink Water, Eat Food, And Get Some Sleep.
20. CHEW GUM: I was told it increases oxygen to the brain. If anything, the minty freshness will wake you up.
21. BRUSH YOUR TEETH: It wakes you up.
22. DRINK WATER: You need it.
23. TAKE A SHOWER: It wakes you up and keeps you non-stinky.
24. EAT AN APPLE: It’s good for you.
25. EAT A BANANA: It relaxes you.
26. IT’S TEST DAY! GET IT
Wake Up and Prepare for your Best! Wake up early. Treat the day as if you’re preparing for an important interview or date. Take a shower to wake you up – shampoo, conditioner and body wash to feel fresh and alive, eat something (be careful not to upset your stomach for the test though), dress your best (I sport my feel good boots, confidant scarf and favorite pants). Walk tall and exude confidence in everything you do to mentally prepare you for a wicked day. Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good.
You’ve been studying for this test all semester – going to classes, or studying the material individually, read/browsing the material, homework, etc. You’ve passed finals before and you’ll pass this one as well. In the end, it’s just a test. Your final exam does not dictate the rest of your life. So sit back, take a few deep breaths, and get it.