Study Tips for Final Exams

1. Syllabus/Course Outlines

This item often thrown away by disorderly teens is like a site map of the entire course. You can call it a Student Bible is you wish. Don’t panic if you belong to that careless category of students: teachers always post it online in terms of highly digitized world. Print it out! If your finals are cumulative, then you will be tested on all the materials from day one.

The syllabus includes all the themes that have or should have been covered up-to-date. The best way to get prepared for the final exam is to look through all suggested topics first.

2. Time Frame and Deadlines

According to numerous statistics and polls, students get studying for their upcoming exams a week before (in a better case). 2/3 of them do it in advance only two-three days ahead! That is quite a sad fact. It is impossible to refresh all the material you’ve studied for more than three months in just one week. 24/7 self-education is not the way out: you will not get enough sleep. It all leads to a higher level of stress.

Scientists recommend studying a month before the exams. And you should plan every step. It means dividing the process into separate stages, with clear goals, and time-managed schedule. But what has to be done with all those creepy materials you still get every day? What about homework, papers, tests and other assignments? Well, first of all, teachers usually reduce the number of homework or its complexity a month before the final. Second, these home assignments are usually restricted by reviewing the previous topics. Learn at least two hours a day. Study more whenever the classes are over or you have day-off – remove parties to the end of the semester. Keep in mind your current scores still influence the overall grade! E.g. final is just 30% of overall grade (as a rule); in-class activities, group/individual project (if any) and midterm are worth 70% of overall grade.

N.B.: Formula For Monthly Calendars: (X)Online Planner(X)Other Calendars (X).

3. Procrastination

The truth is the more you spend waiting, the higher the risk of you cramming before final. If you want to get something done, then simply work at it. Do not postpone – it leads to a failing grade. Living by the saying Work First, Play Later is the way out. Get rid of all that you must do first to have fun later.

4. Balance

Examination is not about going full out berserk. Don’t overload yourself by focusing on education too heavily. It will only result in a general tiredness that will keep you away from hitting the highest possible score. If you get sick, recover first. Being fanatic is even worse than being lazy sometimes.

Do not try to study long hours (more than 2 hours per day). Study at the time when you feel much more alert. Don’t go to bed later than 2 AM. If you are tired, take a quick nap or just lay in a bed for short time. It helps.

  • 10~20 mins: Power Nap
  • 26 mins: NASA Nap
  • 30 mins: Bad Nap (Avoid)
  • 60 mins: The Slow-Wave Sleep Nap
  • 90 mins: The Full Sleep Cycle Nap

5. Down Time/Free Time

Learning every single day turns into a crash. You stop feeling like doing anything at all; it damages your productivity and discourages you. Manage your time effectively so that you can relax. A day where you do not stress and study as much. Right, it can be a full “day-off”.

You probably have many different hobbies and leisure activities. During your down time, just enjoy your time off by doing something that you love together with your friends. 

If you like gaming, there is nothing wrong with carrying on your adventure in the 2D world. If you have a head on your shoulders, you won’t abuse virtual world. When I was getting ready for my exams, I used to play Pokemon Blue and Alpha Sapphire later for no longer than 45 minutes per day. Whatever it is just, do an activity that puts your mind at ease.

Mental Health is as important as Physical Health!

6. Study Space/Premise

Changing the environment brings a range of benefits. However, there are some areas you’d better avoid when studying: areas to avoid studying:

  • Bed: It’s the number one place to avoid. It is OK for doing homework, but memorizing some dull staff like accounting formulas or historical dates can make you drowsy.
  • Beany Chairs: Sit and read over there. They are not created for education.
  • In front of the TV or computer (unless it holds all the required materials): Only the minorities are not disturbed by the TV being switched on. Avoid the TV if you want to study. It motivates eating and watching the next episode of Friends or Doctor House instead of absorbing knowledge.
  • Loud Areas: Unless you have Noise-Canceling Headphones, avoid loud campus or other outdoor areas.

Preferred Locations:

  • Parks 
  • Own bedrooms
  • Libraries
  • Any silent area at your school
  • Café without music (not pub!) 
  • Study Chamber (Do people have those anymore?)
  • Museums
  • Silence: If you cannot stand the silence, play some classical or relaxing instrumental music in the background. If not, maybe these sites do you some good:

Rainy Mood (X) Coffitivity (X) SimplyNoise(X) 8tracks(X)

7. Pomodoro Timer

This method refers to studying in blocks of 25 minutes. Take a 5-minute break for each block. After four blocks of 25 minutes, take a 20 minute break (long break). It’s just as at school.

Note: Use the timers that are available on IOS, Android and PC (X)(X)

Additional Tips

  • Do not try to correct your notes. Some papers have neat handwriting and the most unique and colorful notes, but it takes a plenty of time. On your final, you will be checked for your knowledge, not on now amazing your notes look like.
  • If you sit down and study for a while, you will feel tired. If you cannot feel your toes, it’s time for the break. Coffeetime works well as well as hot chocolate, Nesquik, or milk. Avoid alcohol and “energy” beverages.
  • Practice Tests/In-class Examples/Notes and Outlines: These are the best thing to study first.
  • If you are allowed memory aid/cheat sheet, prepare it before hand. Use it when you are redoing the examples from your previous tests.
  • 24 hours before the exam, try not to study that subject. Do not think about that subject. You have done all that you can. There is no sense in cramming additional information that you know and that you have studied. If needed, just do a small review of under an hour.