Finals week is a time of great anxiety for many students, and that can make people panic. These study tips will help you keep calm and study effectively for your tests.
Create a List of Study Goals and a Schedule
Create a list of study goals to give yourself direction, narrow your focus and make time management easier. Go over all materials for each class—including notes and relevant topics that the instructor has identified—and make list of your weaknesses. Create a schedule that will allow you to cover all topics in the given time frame, before the exams take place. This may mean creating a daily breakdown of each study subject.
Set time parameters for each topic, to prevent yourself from spending too much time in one given area. Leave yourself a buffer of time between subjects to get up, walk around and take a break. If you need more time than you originally allotted yourself for a single subject, shorten the breaks and meal times to help yourself stay on task.
Find an Empty Classroom to Study In
Empty classrooms are distraction-free environments. Pick an empty classroom for some of your study sessions. While there, turn off your cell phone to force yourself to focus on the material. Go to the whiteboard to "teach lessons" to the empty room. Each lesson should cover material from your exam. Working out problems at the board can help solidify the material in your mind.
Make flash cards for each subject and run through your cards regularly. Test yourself by reviewing questions in the books and looking up the independent study answers in the back.
Study in Sessions
Cramming right before a test is stressful and anxiety producing, and that can impede your concentration. Study in short, manageable sessions for days or weeks in advance to learn the material slowly over time. This type of studying will help you build up your understanding of the material and will require you to rely less heavily on rote memorization.
Enlist Help from Experts
Don't be afraid to ask questions when you're feeling stuck. Contact your university's study help center, set up an appointment with your professor, or stop by the TA's desk during study hours. It's best to do these things ahead of time, so you won't have to compete for time and help when finals are approaching.
Good luck with your exams! Taking this organized approach to studying will help you manage the workload, making your finals week go more smoothly.