Once again, we are coming up on finals season. Studying for finals can be tedious, exhausting and is likely the last thing that you want to be doing at any given time. However even with all of the holiday distractions, it is important that we stay focused and put our best study strategies forward.
First, it is important that you find the best study strategies for you. While one thing might work really well for one person, it may not be what works for you. But also recognize that if your current study strategy isn’t giving you the results you want, maybe it’s time to change it up a little.
Make a priority list - Part of what can be so overwhelming about finals is that everything is happening at the same time. When you start studying, you should rank what needs to get done and assign yourself due dates to avoid procrastination and last minute cramming. Plus it feels really good to cross something off a to-do list :)
Start studying now! - It is never too early to start studying, especially for big cumulative finals. You are never going to want to study, and whatever you get done will make your life that much easier in a few weeks!
Write it out - Studies have repeatedly shown that writing material down will help you retain it better, and often studying that is just re-reading notes and textbooks is not the most effective method.
Use colors - Colored pens and highlighters not only make your notes and study guides nice and aesthetically pleasing, it can also help to lock different ideas into your brain and can make it easier to recall something. I’m honestly surprised how often I remember things based on the color that I wrote them in.
Give yourself a break - It is not healthy to sit in the library for 24 hours straight with no sleep and no food. Even if your test is the next day and you haven’t started studying yet, you are doing yourself more harm than good if you don’t give yourself a chance to rest.
Study in groups - This will allow you to learn from what others have learned and see what you really know because it will force you to talk about topics rather than just re-reading the information on your own.
Test yourself - Whether its the practice exam that your professor has provided or flashcards that you have made yourself, it is critical that you test your knowledge before getting to the exam. This will reveal problem areas that you can go back and spend time on instead of focusing on material that you already know by mistake.
Remember ladies, we are almost through. Keep your motivation going strong these last few weeks, then you get a month-long break!