If you’re a college student, you know that the first couple of weeks in December bring about something we all dread: finals. But no worries, as a senior in college, I’ve gone through my fair share of them and have learned what helps you ace those finals, projects, and presentations, and what doesn’t.
For Blogmas Day 4, I’m sharing 8 tips to help you rock your finals, so after all is said and done, you can enjoy Christmas break with no worries about how you did on those anxiety-inducing exams.
- Create a master to-do list.
In your planner, calendar, or notebook, create a master to-do list for the last days in the semester. Write down every final, project, presentation, study group, and meeting that you have going. Now that you have an overview of everything, you can start planning your study sessions and prioritize what you need to start studying first. Having a plan will prevent you from feeling too overwhelmed and will help you monitor your progress each day.
- Start right now.
Picture this: you have a project or final deadline looming over your head. But instead of working on it and studying, you’re refreshing Instagram for the 20th time that hour, watching “just one more episode” of that Netflix show you’ve been binging, or scrolling through Pinterest like it’s your job. You know you should be studying, but you just can’t get yourself to start. Every student is familiar with this feeling, but when we procrastinate, we lose all our free time and put off the important stuff we should’ve been doing. This leaves us feeling panicked and wishing we got started earlier.
The best way to help with procrastination? Break down your work into smaller steps. A big part of the reason we put things off is because subconsciously we find the task ahead of us too overwhelming. So instead of just having “Write Research Paper” on your to-do list, break it down into actionable steps. For example,
- Decide on your topic
- Research and find sources
- Create an outline
You get the picture. Once you’ve done the first task, move onto the next thing. That’s a lot less overwhelming, isn’t it?
- Utilize study tools.
Certain subjects like languages, history, and science, require a lot of memorization. One of the best ways to commit something to memory is repetition. Instead of wasting a bunch of notecards and getting hand cramps from writing everything out, use Quizlet. I’ve used Quizlet since I was a sophomore in college, and it’s a lifesaver! You can create your own virtual flashcards or search for flashcard sets that other students have created in various subjects. You can also play games with your flashcards and do mock exams so you’re on your way to an A on that final in no time.
- Visit a tutor.
If you’re struggling with a particular subject or concept, visit a tutor! Most universities have tutors for any subject available for free. As a public speaking tutor for my university, I’ve seen way too many students wait until the last minute before seeking help or starting on an important presentation. Tutors are there to help you!
- Create a study playlist.
A lot of students find background music helps them get into a work mindset. If vocals distract you, go for some instrumental music. Pandora has a lot of stations created specifically for studying. My favorites are Classical for Studying and Electronic for Studying.
- Gets those endorphins up.
Exercise is proven to reduce stress and improve sleep, which makes it a great tool to use during finals week! My personal favorite is yoga. It works wonders for managing anxiety during stressful times. But since dead week and finals week is crazy busy, I often choose to stay home and do yoga there using Yoga with Adriene’s videos on YouTube. Not only is Adriene incredibly knowledgeable about all things yoga, she’s hilarious.
- Take care of yourself.
Plan time to get enough sleep, eat real, healthy meals (Red Bull and Doritos don’t count…sorry!), and remember that this is all temporary. These exams might seem like the end of the world, but as Mark Twain once said, “Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.” i.e., At the end of the day, remember why you’re in school to begin with.
- Chew gum.
A recent study revealed that people who chewed gum before an exam were able to remember facts faster for the next 15-20 minutes. It can’t hurt, right?
With these tips, you’ll be finals week ready in no time. That brings us to todays Blogmas Day 4 question:
What’s your favorite study tip?
Share with me below and stay tuned for Blogmas Day 5 tomorrow! I’m posting every single day until Christmas. 🙂 Missed yesterday’s post? Check it out here.