Every college student becomes nervous at the end of the semester each year. Forming study groups, meeting with professors during office hours, and going to the library to finish homework used to make things a little easier. With COVID-19, participating in classes, doing assignments, and studying for exams is more difficult because of online learning. However, there are techniques that students of all majors can use to prepare for finals. Here is the survival guide for successfully getting through your exams.
1. Eat healthy snacks during study sessions
It is important to eat a variety of healthy foods to keep your brain full. Being able to stay focused will result in getting higher scores. Try a mix of fruits, vegetables, and baked chips. Whether you are at home, the local library or nearby coffee shop always have a snack with you. Avoid snacks with too much fat and sugar.
2. Get eight hours of sleep each night
Sleep is important if you want to do well on exams. Do not drink caffeinated beverages to stay awake. Do 40 minutes to 2 hours of studying and take 10 minute breaks to get some food or use the bathroom. In order for your brain to function, your body needs sleep. Brain performance will increase and memory will greatly improve by maintaining a sleep cycle.
3. Take frequent study breaks
Another way to increase brain activity is through exercise. Take a break from studying after a period of time. Go for a walk around the block, stretch or do some warm up exercises. If you are sitting down for a long time, get up and move around a little. Doing Zumba, yoga or meditation is great as well.
4. Turn off distractions
When you are not currently in an online class or doing assignments on your laptop make sure to turn off all electronic devices. That includes your phone and television. Find a quit space to study and review notes. This will help you to focus better. Being able to concentrate will ensure a higher success rate on your exams or final projects.
5. Form a study group on Zoom
While the days of sitting next to your friends in class are temporarily restricted, you can still host a Zoom call and invite friends to study with you. Take advantage of the technology available to you. If you are taking the same class, you can review notes and discuss previous assignments. Quizzing each other is another option. This is great way to inspire each other to succeed.
6. Schedule times during the day to study
In order to do your best, you have to make time to get work done. Set reminders on your phone for available time each day to complete assignments, and prepare for your exams or final projects/labs. Create a break schedule for 15 and 30 minutes to use the bathroom, get some food, and stretch. By having a healthy balance with school and recreation, you will feel emotionally healthier. When it the time comes to take your final exam, you will be more prepared.
7. Make flash cards
Create a set of cards with vocabulary words, phrases, questions and solutions, math/science formulas or resources. This is a great way to prepare for any test. Review the flash cards and go over content that you struggle with the most. Use a highlighter if you want. Take breaks, and try to quiz your classmates on Zoom.
8. Organize your notes in a binder
If you used a notebook to take notes, either type the most important information and print it out or tear out pages and place them in a binder with plastic sheets. This is the best way to organize your notes. Business or STEM majors will likely have a binder already to keep track of documents. Using dividers, highlighters, and underlining or circling terms will help makes things easier to understand. Read over everything and only include information that will be on the exam, if it's not cumulative. Although online classes are difficult being prepared will be worth it in the end.
9. Use colored pens
One of the best ways to organize your notes is using colored pens. This is a fun and unique visual reminder that does not take long to put together. Choose a color for vocabulary terms, important sentences, and names that you need to remember. Placing your notes into categories keeps your studying sessions more simple. Afterwards, just review your notes as usual and you will be ready by exam time.
10. Think of word or concept associations
If you are taking a class that requires memorizing vocabulary words, this is a great way to easily remember terms. Associate any word with the term that you are studying. Amazingly, you will be able to recollect more information. This works better if you use certain images, words, names or mnemonic phrases for rules in math or vocab for English, science and engineering. No matter what class you are taking, you will be prepared.
11. Review the most difficult information first
It's best to get the class you dislike the most out of the way. Read over homework assignments, problems, and words from your most challenging class. Organize the work into groups or chapters. Study the material for 1 to 2 hours a day. After a while you will find the work less challenging and will feel more alert.
12. Study the easier information towards the end of the day
For classes that you understand the information more clearly and excel in, review all the vocabulary words and information last. You already got high marks on assignments and practice exams. Make sure to highlight and write down anything that sounds important. Read over your notes for at least 40 minutes to an hour each day. Do not stress over the easy questions and allow yourself more time to prepare for more difficult ones.