Thanksgiving is over, and the end of the semester looms. You want to be able to buckle down and finish strong as you prepare for final exams. Thus far, your pattern of learning has included learning for a few weeks, then sitting down for a test. During the semester, these tests evaluate your short-term memory. When final exams arise, however, you must be able to transfer that short-term knowledge and memory gained over the course of the whole semester to long-term knowledge and integration. Studying for block testing throughout the semester can be very different from studying for final exams. By using these tactics, however, you’ll be able to increase your odds of success when you sit down for that big test.
Strategy #1: Create a Schedule
Ideally, you want to start early with your finals prep so that you aren’t scrambling through an effort to cram down everything in the space of a few short days–or worse, hours. Before your final exam schedule begins, create a study schedule. Consider how many courses you’re taking–and make sure you know which ones actually have final exams. Set aside time to study for each of them.
Strategy #2: Leave Room for Breaks
When you put together your exam schedule, make sure that it includes room for breaks! You have a pretty good idea of how long you can focus before your mind starts to wander and studying is no longer productive. While there’s no concrete consensus for how long you’ll be able to focus, most experts agree that you can manage to study for around 50-90 minutes before you need to take a break. Pay attention to how long you, personally, can sit and stare at your books before you start to lose focus, and schedule 15-20 minute breaks within that time frame. Ultimately, those study breaks
Strategy #3: Take Care of Yourself
During this busy cram time, make sure that you’re taking care of yourself. Healthy sleep is critical for memory and learning, which means those late-night study sessions might actually have more of a negative impact on your ability to retain information than a positive one. Getting regular cardio exercise can also help increase your ability to retain the information you need for your final exams.
Strategy #4: Check Out the Study Guide
Don’t have a study guide? Create your own! Spend some time in class asking your teachers what information you can expect to see on your finals. Ask more questions about anything you don’t understand. Is there something specific you struggle with? Now is the time to ask for extra help. Make sure you understand everything on the study guide and know the answers to key questions. By answering those questions for yourself now, you’ll increase your confidence when you sit down to take your finals.
Strategy #5: Study Together
Get together with a group from your classes, especially the ones you struggle with the most. Ask each other questions and quiz each other. If there’s a concept you’re still struggling to understand, ask each other questions. Sometimes, your peers may be able to explain a concept more effectively than your teacher, especially if they struggled in the same area.
Strategy #6: Create a Review
You have a study guide. Now, create your own review. Consider what information you most need to cover again. Then, ask someone to quiz you, or set it up so that you’ll be able to quiz yourself. This review will give you a good idea of what you already know about the subject and what you still need to figure out.
Finals time is fast approaching, and you want to be sure you do your best. If you need a new school environment that is more likely to help propel you to success, contact us today to learn more about The Tenney School and how it can help you succeed.