Exams are tricky business. The fact that they are given a special name for what is essentially a test ups the Serious Factor. Usually, exams count for a lot of your final mark, too, which means you might be stressing out right about . . . now.
We thought we’d give you some helpful tips on how to study for your finals. Now, we’re pretty smart at N3XT, so we think these tips are awesome. But full disclosure: they may not work for you. Everyone learns differently and you have to find your groove. Also, if you’ve been slacking off all year, you’ll have to really crack those books to make up for it now!
- Write, write, and write some more. Instead of staring at your notes (assuming you have some) or crossing your eyes trying to read that history textbook for the gazillionth time hoping facts stick, try writing down the important stuff. Writing information down helps you remember it better.
- Study a little for a longer period of time rather than cramming. Your brain will thank you for not trying to shove too much in it all at once. Be kind to your mind and only make it work for a little bit every day. You’ll get there . . . you just need time. Do up a schedule if it helps.
- Make sure you are comfortable and not distracted. This means that, yes, you can totally study in your PJs and we give you permission to kick your little brother out of your room (not literally of course). You need to be focused, so while a little background music is ok, you should probably turn off the TV.
- Take breaks.Go for a 10-minute walk around the block. Get some munchies and a glass of water. Be nice to your little brother and promise him you’ll play with him after exams are over. Chat with a friend. Check Facebook. Whatever relaxes you, do it . . . for 15 minutes and then get right back at it.
Here’s an interesting little study: females study better in bright lighting while men study better with the lighting dimmed. Huh!
- Plan out your study session. There’s nothing more daunting than trying to study a whole year of material without a plan. Think of it as trying to build a house without a blueprint. You need a plan and you need to take it in steps. Study Math one night and then History the next. Divide each by chapters. You’ll get through it—we promise!
- Ask a friend to quiz you. You can combine social time with a friend (who you probably haven’t had any time for with all this studying!) with productivity. Being quizzed makes the studying active, rather than passive reading, and you’ll be more likely to remember the material.
- Schedule relaxation time. Take 30 min at the end of each study session and do something relaxing. And schedule this in (otherwise, it’s tempting to cover one more chapter and stay up late . . . if you study at night). Your brain needs to unwind after studying and before bed (or before you start studying something else).
- Use fun tools. Whether you are a highlighter and index card kind of person, or you love finding just the right app to help you study . . . use them! Who says studying has to be boring? Add a little colour and enjoy.
- Most of all, take care of yourself. Enjoy physical activity and make sure you get enough sleep each night. Drink water. Eat healthy. Being an over-caffeinated, overtired, anxiety-filled monster will not help you study.
Remember to ask your family for their understanding because no doubt you’ll temporarily disappear from their lives into a place that used to be your room but could be mistaken for a set on Hoarders.
Stay calm, believe in yourself, and good luck!
Photo Credit: JuditK