tips and tricks for college finals

You work hard all semester long, attending lectures, writing research papers and meeting project deadlines, all while maintaining your grade point average (GPA). Finals week should be no different — in fact, most students consider it to be the most crucial week of the semester.

Final exams and term papers can often have a huge impact on your overall grade on your college transcript. It is important you do everything you can to feel well-rested, prepared and confident for your finals.

In the days leading up to finals week, take advantage of the time you have available to prep and don’t be afraid to try new study methods, especially if your current techniques aren’t serving you well.

If you’re feeling stuck or your go-to tips and tricks simply aren’t enough, don’t give up. Studying techniques work differently for each student, so it’s just a matter of figuring out what works best for you and your workload.

The key is to be patient with yourself and the material. As you prepare for your college finals, keep an open mind and experiment with some of these helpful studying tips. You may even find your new favorite study technique.

Organize All Important Deadlines and Make a Study Schedule

Chances are you will likely have more than one final exam or paper to worry about come finals week. Ensuring your schedule is comprehensive, and double checking to make sure nothing is missing, is the first step to managing your time and workload effectively. There is nothing worse than missing a deadline or forgetting an assignment simply because it wasn’t clearly written in your planner or calendar.

An organized and detailed calendar can bring you peace of mind and free up space in your day — allowing you the capacity to focus on studying rather than frantically piecing together due dates at the last minute.

Once you have all key deadlines ironed out, take the time to create a study schedule that works with your lifestyle. To avoid poor time management, it’s good to set boundaries and time limits for each class or final. A study schedule can help keep you on track and ensure you review all essential notes and study materials.

Categorize All Material Based on Priority Level

Although final exams are designed to wrap up the semester, that doesn’t mean every lecture or chapter in your textbook will be covered in your final. In most cases, your professors will provide you with a comprehensive study guide or at least a bulleted outline of topics and materials to review prior to taking your exam.

Based on what your instructors provide, it can be helpful to break the material down into three categories:

  1. Material that will be included in the final
  2. Material that will likely be included in the final
  3. Material that “might be” included in the final

While vigorously studying the material within each of these categories is important, giving each equal focus likely isn’t realistic. As you work through your study schedule, start with the material that is guaranteed to be on the exam followed by the material in category two. The key is to feel confident about the information and material in one category before moving on to the next.

Meet Regularly with a Study Group

If you are comfortable collaborating and working closely with fellow students, participating in a study group can make all the difference. You may find one person’s interpretation of the material helps make crucial connections in your brain and strengthens your understanding and retention of the study material(s).

Even if you generally don’t study with other students, finals preparation may be a good time to step out of your comfort zone. Don’t hesitate to join a study group or initiate one with a few of your classmates.

Get Adequate Rest and Eat Healthy Foods

It is not physically possible to study every waking moment of every day. Without proper sleep and a healthy diet, your efforts might be wasted or less effective than they could be. Just as a study schedule is instrumental to your success during finals week, adequate recovery time and a nourishing meal can go a long way.

Instead of reaching for convenience and junk food, choose a balanced diet that includes things like nuts, yogurt, fruits and vegetables. Proteins and healthy fats will also provide you with the energy and brain fuel you need to retain information and recall it on the day of your final(s).

Kickstart Your Future with an Education at St. Louis College of Health Careers

We understand that enrolling in college can often feel intimidating and overwhelming. At St. Louis College of Health Careers, we believe that every individual should have access to a quality education that works with their lifestyle. We offer flexible diploma and degree programs in Missouri and beyond for students who wish to pursue a career in healthcare.

To learn more, call 866-529-2070 or contact us online.

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