Finals Studying Tips

After planning this blog post, I realized some schools have already begun their finals. For those of you that have not started suffering through finals week yet, here are a few types to help you survive.

Prioritize Classes
Although all of your college professors probably think their class is the most influential one you will ever take, you know which ones are more important to you. You also know which ones you need to spend more time studying for in order to do well. List out your classes, check your grades, and see which ones need more dedication before finals.

Create a Study Schedule
Don't just make a to-do list, make a plan of when you are going to accomplish these tasks. Set small goals, such as going over certain chapters or creating a study guide, and take it all one thing at a time. It seriously helps me to cross things off a list, and see what I have accomplished. Little things are needed to keep you motivated throughout the week.

Find your Space
Not everyone can be productive in the same places. If you like studying in your dorm, then do so. If you are going to the library, get there early to secure a table to do your work at. Personally, I like to reserve study rooms at the library when possible. When preparing for a library trip, pack everything you need so there isn't an excuse not to get work done once you're there.

Take Breaks
Your brain simply cannot spend six hours looking at the same subject. You're not going to remember the information and you're going to end up exhausted. I'm sure this has been scientifically proven. I've found myself to be the most productive if I spend 45 minutes working and 15 minutes checking social media or blog things every hour. It's also important to find time to leave the library and do something else to avoid burning out early in the week.

Go over old Tests
If your final is comprehensive, look at what you were tested on previously. Take note of what things you struggled with and go over those concepts again. It's not uncommon for professors to repeat questions from exams on the final. 

Condense your Notes
Some professors are generous enough to provide a study guide for their final exam. For my classes that did so, I've gone through my notes and highlighted or typed up information on the concepts in the study guide. Studying is important, but it is even more important that you study the right information. 

Take Care of Yourself
Always have water available when you are going to study for an extended period of time. Your GPA matters, but your personal health should be your first priority. Take power naps and try to get a full night's sleep. You'll be more functional during the day if you do. Pack healthy study snacks and treat yourself every now and then. 

Finals week is rough, but you can definitely get through it if you have a plan. Check out your university's resources for stress relief. We have dogs in the library once during the week and free massages at the health center. These types of things can keep you from sitting in your dorm crying over a bag popcorn, not that I've ever done that... 
Good luck on your finals!

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