Yup. It’s here. Finals season is upon us. Now if you’re like us, you studied really hard, attended all your classes, and completed every homework assignment to its fullest extent. Right? Just kidding. No one’s perfect! Why else would you be here, helplessly trying to find tips on efficient studying (procrastinate much?).
Well my dears, if you’re looking like this guy in light of finals week then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a how to guide on studying (AKA cramming) for finals
Take advantage of your peers. Compare notes, offer up topics, ask questions. This way you get fresh perspective on your class and you have a way of ensuring you cover all the topics. Having a study buddy or even a study group will ensure that you guys can find the correct answers and hold each other accountable for the approaching test.
If you haven’t made any contact with any of the people from your class, the best way to find someone is to just ask. Most likely, they are just as stressed as you are and will be willing to form a group, or even better, they may already have a group and you can join in!
Creating/Completing your Study Guide
I cannot stress this point enough. You want to go over all the content from the course and/or study guide if available. Do this as soon as possible!!! Sit down one day and really dive deep. Study everything you need to, even the stuff you don’t understand! Write it all done and make note of things that stick out. Follow the study guide, it is your best friend. If you don’t have a study guide, click here to figure out how to make your own. Make sure you complete a plan for what it is you need to study, after that you can really test yourself on your knowledge.
After completing the study guide or your own study plan, go through and quiz yourself. If you find yourself struggling with something specific, take note of it on a separate page to return to. By making a list of all the things that still confuse you, you can be sure to study them. Repeat until there’s nothing on your list of things that are confusing to you.
Get clarification on the topics that you are unsure of. This will not only help you study, but will make sure you actually learn the topics long terms. So ask, ask, ask!
If it’s not too late, email or meet you professor during office hours with your pre-prepared questions. Do not show up without preparing expecting them to give you the answers to everything, this is a sure fire way to get the professor to doubt you and ultimately leave you helpless. Have specific topics and questions in mind when you ask your professor for some clarification.
Ask your classmates. If you found a study group make sure you bring up your list of questions no matter how silly they may seem. They will be willing to help you and can probably explain it in a way that you can understand.
Never be afraid to ask questions!!! It is essential!!!
You Can Never Be Too Prepared
After you complete your study guides, go over the material for 15-30 minutes every day before the final. It doesn’t take long, and the process is absolutely beneficial to you. You can study while you snack, waiting in line for Starbucks, or even while you watch The Food Network.
Pretty soon, you’ll know everything better than the professor.
Phew. Just when we needed another excuse to procrastinate… just kidding. Taking a break while studying is actually really important. If you are constantly drilling, memorizing, and learning new information, your brain can sometimes turn on auto pilot and cease to retain further information. So take a break! Breathe. Eat a snack. Take a nap.
When you come back to studying you will feel refreshed and it will be easier to start up again.
How many breaks should you take? For every 60 minutes of studying you do, you should take a 15 minute break. The max you should go without a break is 90 minutes! Don’t overwork yourself! We’re trying to be efficient and keep you sane.