The holidays are approaching, which means soon we rest. Unfortunately, this also means the semester is coming to an end and finals are approaching. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up from my college experience:
- Make a study guide. There are some professors that will actually take the time to put together a study guide, others will just point out certain topics that are expected to be in the exam, and others… If a professor provides a study guide, you have no excuse not complete it. Study guides provided by your professor are the most helpful and will cover the content in the exam. If your professor does not provide a study guide for you, then make one of your own. Go through the chapters the exam will be about and look for important terms and definition or anything your professor might have pointed out, be sure to understand the context of important vocabulary words as the exam questions might ask further from the definition only.
- Actually Study. As a college student, I know we like to complain about studying and how much we have to study, we go on and let the entire student body know how much work we have to do and the tons of study we must do for a course, but when it comes down to actually studying, we lack on that department. Yes, it is exhausting and boring, and we already sat through two long lectures today but it is necessary if you want a good results in your finals.
- Do Not Miss Class. It seems that as the semester stretches further, we get more exhausted and less tolerant. You wake up for a 9am lecture and stay in bed contemplating if it’s necessary to attend today’s lecture, I mean there’s only two weeks left, and I’m really tired, perhaps I could sleep in. I am sorry to inform you, but yes, you need those two more weeks of lectures. Getting up for a 9am does seem to get harder as the semester nears to an end, but the last few weeks hold important information for your final.
- Do Not Procrastinate. Procrastination is the most common illness in college students. I might not be technically a real illness, but it sure feels like it. The sooner you get your work done, the sooner that stress will be lifted off your shoulders.
- Study Techniques. You have probably heard of the four learning styles: visual, auditory, kinesthetic and reading/writing. People learn best in very distinct ways, for someone, listening to the material works best, in which case attending class is a must, while for others, reading helps them retain the most information and learn. Kinesthetic learners might find flashcards more helpful than doing tons of reading. If you don’t know your learning style, completing the VARK test might be a helpful way to start. There is also other studying techniques for social people who rather study in groups while other prefer to study alone.
- Study on the Go. Sometimes we put as an excuse having no time to sit down and study, so here is a solution. Save your study guide in google docs so that you can study on your phone while you wait in line for lunch or while you wait in between lectures. Pictures can also come in-handy if you can’t open Google Docs or find yourself with no WiFi. If your into the old fashion way, make the study guide on paper or print it out and fit it into your pocket.
- Sleep. Though it is crucial to study the night before the exam, it is also important to be well rested the day of the exam to keep you wake. At least 7 hours of sleep are recommended for those between 19 and 25 years old, however, most college students do not get close to that. Seriously, if I manage to sleep 3-4 hours during the night and taking a one hour nap in the afternoon, I consider myself lucky. At this point, we all know how many hours of sleep work for us to keep us awake through class, so get the most sleep you can the night before your exam.
- Test Yourself. We already went through the learning styles, however it is important to practice and put your knowledge to work. You could have a friend test you or you could print out the study guide without the answers and try completing it, then checking if your answers are correct. This will also tell you what questions you need to study more.
Apply the previous tips, test them on yourself, some might be more helpful than others depending on every individual. Study hard but try not to stress yourself over. Good luck on your finals!