Every college student dreads finals season.
The studying, sleepless nights, and mid-study breakdowns are almost too much to think about when you've got other projects to complete in the midst of preparing to take a final exam. A final exam, that could either make or break you.
I've asked around, done my research, and narrowed it down to give you all 5 tips to reduce stress during finals. There are different methods that work for different people; everyone is wired in their own way. But hopefully, these tips are of use to you all! Happy Finals!!
1. Be proactive and pay attention in class.
I know it seems self-explanatory, and I may sound like your mother, but pay attention in class.
For me, I've found it's easiest to stay attentive during class if I take notes. As it turns out, hand-writing notes in class activate the parts of your brain responsible for memory recall and force your brain to engage with the information. It's also helpful to organize and revise your notes after class! This will help you remember the information later on, and keep you from stressing and scrambling through a mess of handouts for information before the final!
2. Manage your time.
You can't procrastinate when it comes to preparing and studying for finals.
Start organizing your information and creating a study-guide a week or two before the final. I've found that the earlier I begin preparing for an exam, the less stressed out I am when it comes time to take it. I'm not suggesting you start studying 5 hours a day before the final. Looking over the information and learning it, little by little, in the week(s) before will help you not feel so rushed when it's the day before the final.
3. Test yourself.
I learned this trick during my first psychology class.
Our brains learn by making mistakes. You can take your notes from lecture and create online flashcards, practice tests, and other cool study techniques using a website, such as Quizlet! This has by far been one of the most helpful and effective studying tips I've learned in college! It's taken so much stress out of my study routine. I've been making better grades ever since I started using this trick.
4. Take breaks.
When you're studying for hours on end, your brain is going to get tired and stop taking in information.
That's when taking study breaks come in handy. Now--a study break is not scrolling through Instagram for Twitter for 30 minutes, and it's not gossiping with your friends. The goal here is to relax and refresh, not distract. Assuming you've been sitting; stand up and stretch. Try grabbing a coffee, tea, something to eat, or some fresh air to clear your head for a little bit.
5. Get rid of distractions!
Again, here's me sounding like your mom.
Put your phone away and find a place to study with the least amount of distraction. Nothing breaks your concentration, mid-study, more than a phone call from your best-friend, Snapchat from your boo, or that one loud person that's always in the library. When you can't study, that just leads to more stress when it comes time to take the final. If you're studying with friends, make sure you pick the friends that actually help you study. The ones who will talk the entire time about anything and everything, other than the material you're studying? They aren't your best bet.