Stressed about finals next week? Learn some new ways to ease that stress by implementing some of the tips from our campus librarian.
Studying does not have to be a challenge or even something you dread. If you’ve been to class, participating and paying attention, chances are you already learned everything you need to know to pass the final; the process of studying is just to refresh that knowledge and bring it to the forefront of your mind.
Concentration on your subject matter. If you can’t properly focus your mind, you’ll never be able to grasp all the information you need to be successful. One basic rule is to make sure you are getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep can affect even the most basic processes of the brain and make focus seem impossible. Even if you have gotten enough sleep, you’ve probably noticed times of the day when you have the most energy or are routinely alert. Take note of these times; that is exactly when you should study. When your brain is functioning at the highest level is when you should bury your nose in your books.
Find a quiet space where you can sit upright. Lying down, on a bed or a couch tells your body to rest, which is opposite of what you want it to do. Sit upright in a chair, at a table or desk, with plenty of light.
Take breaks. Do you notice when you start to get restless. Are you shifting in your seat? Is your concentration starting to slip? Are you reading a sentence multiple times before grasping its meaning? These are clues that you need a break. Breaks are essential to studying properly. At least every hour you should take a five minute break. If you have multiple subjects to learn, these breaks can serve as a natural transition as you move from subject to subject.
Mix it up. Reading and trying to commit facts to memory will not be sufficient for everything you need to know. Here are some ideas:
- Create a set of flash cards and quiz yourself.
- Write your own practice test.
- Do a sample essay and try to summarize what you’ve learned already.
Not only will these different ideas help you study more efficiently, the act of creating these tools will help you retain the information more thoroughly.
Remember, if you need help or are feeling particularly stuck, please ask for help.
Contacts for help:
- Resource Center: Room 200
- Student Services Coordinator, Katie Bahr: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Campus Librarian, Olivia Moris: email@example.com
Good luck on your exams!