By Kenzi Murphy
It’s officially the time of year that college students dread: finals season. Between getting last minute assignments in and starting to pack up your dorm, studying for your finals can become overwhelming and may get pushed aside.
So, how can you optimize your study time and ensure that you will receive your optimal grade? Here are five effective study tips to help you ace your finals.
A common theme in college students’ study habits is to wait until the last minute to cram everything into your brain. This method is anything but the correct way to study. Cramming can cause insufficient sleep and put more stress on you. Instead of cramming, plan out your schedule for finals week and section out one to two hour time slots everyday to study the material. Therefore, you’ll be looking at the material every day up until your final and you won’t feel overwhelmed with studying everything in one night. This is the best way to use your time right and acquire the knowledge needed for your exam.
Use Flashcards or Quizlet
One of the most effective ways to retain information is by using flashcards. Reading and quizzing yourself on the material over and over again will immensely help you while studying for your finals. Furthermore, there’s an easier way to make flashcards that doesn’t involve hours of writing your terms on the cards: Quizlet. Quizlet is an online flashcard website that allows you to make flashcards electronically. It also uses your flashcard set to make different options that might fit better to your study needs: games, matching the terms to the definitions, a test on your set, and writing, spelling and learning exercises. Either way, both flashcards and Quizlet are great study tools and if used correctly, will ensure that you know the material.
Rewrite your Notes
Another great way to retain information is by rewriting it. Rewriting your notes forces you to reread the material, process it and then write it down again. This will guarantee that you’re looking over every aspect of your notes and not missing any vital information. Although this can be time consuming and cause some hand cramps, it’s an effective way to understand the topic that’s going to be on your exam.
Teach the Information to Someone Else
This method is an amazing way to know if you have a full grasp on the content you need to know. If you are able to teach the material it means that you know it well enough to confidently teach it to somebody else. The method also makes you talk about the topic out loud, which is important for retaining information. All you need for this is to find a friend, roommate, parent or sibling who is available and is willing to learn some new information.
Most importantly, taking breaks should be a crucial part of your study routine. Studying for long intervals of time can fry your brain and make it harder for you to retain information. After every 30 minutes of studying, take a break for 15 minutes. This can include eating a snack, grabbing a drink, going for a small walk or even scrolling through your phone. Breaks are a great way to make sure that you’re not overloading yourself.
Finals season can be rough, especially if studying isn’t your forte. However, if you take these tips into consideration, acing your finals should be a breeze.