With finals approaching, here are my best study tips for getting through finals week. Study hard, and good luck!
1. Start early
No matter if you have a final paper or exam, you need to start studying, researching, or writing as soon as possible. This may be something you’ve been at least thinking about all semester, but if you haven’t started yet, you need to start now!
2. Get plenty of sleep
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you can’t focus or retain information as well as you could otherwise. Even if you have to write a paper, getting enough sleep allows you to think more critically and clearly than if you aren’t getting enough.
3. Take a good, long study break every day
You may be taking quick study breaks every 20 minutes to an hour, but at some point you need to fully clear your mind and destress. Do whatever you need to do, whether it’s exercise, playing a musical instrument, or watching your favorite TV show. I personally like to either swim or play the piano.
4. If you have an exam, make it funny
You’ll remember things better if you’re interested in what you’re learning, and you’ll be more interested if you think the material is funny. Join a friend and make funny voices or accents while you study, or else write jokes into the way you word questions and answers.
5. If you have a paper, editing is key
The last thing you want to do is start your final paper the night before it’s due. Professors are going to look at everything, from the soundness of your ideas to your spelling and grammar, and everything in between. You want to make sure everything is as close to perfect as you can get it. The way to do this is to edit it as much as you can, and, ideally, have a friend look it over as well. It may even help to have your professor look it over.
6. Eat good food
Since it’s finals, you may be tempted to live off of snack food and desserts, but you need real food as well. I’m not saying that you need perfect your diet during finals week, but don’t let it fall apart either. Most people don’t have either a great diet or a terrible one, so just don’t let it get any worse. What you eat effects your brain’s ability to function, and also eating dinner with friends will freshen you up better than stress-eating while you study ever could.
7. Don’t think about going home
You have to get through your finals before you can go home, and in the words of one of my professors, most students “half-ass their semesters” by partying or thinking about going home during the semester. Instead, in the words of the same professor, you need to “whole-ass your semester so you can whole-ass your break.” If you live in the moment, it will seem to go by much faster.