by clio gourevitch
Finals are coming up, and with finals, comes huge amounts of stress. Whether you’re acing all of your classes or doing not exactly as well as you might want, finals will bring on a lot more worry and stress than other times of the year.
The key to reducing the stress you will have around finals week is preparation. Although studying now and over holiday break seems excessive and unnecessary, it will help and it will help reduce the last-minute panic. Cramming before an exam seems helpful and maybe it will help you a bit, but if you want to get lasting knowledge that will be more reliably available to you, you need to consistently and methodically study beforehand.
Making a study schedule is one of the biggest things that can help you. Figuring out when you will study for each subject based on necessity is hugely important and will help you have a balanced readiness for your tests. This also will make studying much more organized, since you know what you are doing in advance rather than winging it and getting distracted.
Another important thing is to stay concentrated and not to get distracted. Whether this means going in a different room from your phone or calling friends to study together, this is the most valuable skill. Concentration leads to being able to study more effectively and it is crucial to an efficient and productive study session.
The most annoying but effective method is to write out a study guide by hand. This is by far the most laborious, but also has the best results. According to PBS, a study was done that showed that although when students use a laptop, they will write more in a shorter period of time, students who hand-write will end up with a clearer understanding. When you put the words down by hand onto paper, it puts them in your memory, and also you can study from the finished product just the same as, or better than you could from a computer.
Lastly, mental health can hugely affect physical health as well. During finals (as well as normally) you should make sure that you are getting enough good food to eat (not just junk food) and getting enough sleep. Sleep and food are important because of the distractions they can cause both during studying and during the actual test. Being tired and hungry will cause distractions and will make your answers less than what they should be. Focusing on physical health as well as mental health can help you overall and is very beneficial.
This chart (from The California State University) is simple but it outlines some dos and don’ts of finals week. These will help you keep on track and healthy during finals. Good luck!
Baik, Michelle. “Staying Healthy During Finals Season.” The California State University, 8 Dec. 2016, https://www2.calstate.edu/csu-system/news/Pages/Staying-Healthy-During-Finals-Season.aspx.
Eck, Allison. “For More Effective Studying, Take Notes With Pen and Paper.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 3 June 2014, https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/taking-notes-by-hand-could-improve-memory-wt/.
Clio Gourevitch, BHSEC Queens
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