Last minute study tips are sometimes all you need to get that grade you want! It’s finals week and you have to cram studying for 5 or more classes into less than 7 days. We’ve all been there! It gets really stressful when it comes down to prioritizing which classes need more of your focus. These last minute study tips are great for whether you have loads of time or are pushing right down to the wire of final exam season!
The most simple tip, but it is tried and true. Make sure you have gotten and are getting enough sleep. I know that’s not always the easiest thing and your first instinct might be to caffeinate, but sleeping is the best way to recharge your batteries and make sure you wake up on time.
Go to bed early, take quick cat naps, or even longer two-hour naps, just make sure you’re getting enough hours. Nothing is worse than waking up exhausted right before your final, except maybe waking up late. You’ll thank yourself when all of your friends are nursing their caffeine crash and you are still chugging along.
The most powerful study tool I could give an incoming freshman is the act of rewarding yourself. For those days where it seems even that much harder to open your textbook, you have to be willing to give yourself some incentive. We’re all only human. It could be a funny youtube video or getting your favorite Starbucks drink with some friends after 30 minutes of looking at flashcards. Or it could be rewarding yourself with a nap after a grueling two hours of textbook reading. The possibilities are endless and should be based on whatever works best for you.
In addition to flashcards, making your own test questions could be effective. I often find that flashcards may only help you remember some of the information or vocabulary but not entire concepts. Flashcards are still a great, easy way to study but if you have an exam with some short answers or an essay portion, then writing out actual possible test questions could be beneficial.
For some, this might seem like a no brainer, but I know a lot of people, myself included, don’t always fully re-write important information. They either rely solely on flashcards or a typed out study guide. Both of these are great tools, but I’ve found that handwriting information a couple of times is a great way to really remember a concept. It’s also backed by science that writing your notes is better than typing them, so at least we’ve got that little piece of motivation for us.
After writing the information down a couple of times, it would also be a good idea to then type up your study guide. This way, you have a sturdier copy and can bold the text in a way that might help you remember those more elusive concepts better. Also, a bright yellow highlighter looks like it’ll practically pop off the computer paper making the information really catch your eye.
I know we are all tempted during those busy study sessions to reach for the cookies and chips or order a pizza. But one of the easiest ways to be on your A-game for your test is to eat well, especially in the days coming up to your exam and the morning of. This does not mean don’t treat yourself or have a sweet snack every once and a while, it’s just that moderation is extra important during exam week. When you eat better, you focus better, sleep better, and overall feel better. These are just things to think about. Of course, after the exam, you can always go get that ice cream.
If you know you can’t study on your bed or do homework in the library with your friends, then don’t do it. None of these last minute study tips are important if you can’t be productive where you work! It’s never really a good idea to try and work in a place where you know you won’t be able to focus. It’ll just waste time and then you may get even more sidetracked and decide to just procrastinate it all, which is never a good thing.
Once you have your perfect study guide, printed or on lined paper, it’d be a good idea to color-code your notes. This is a great way to help separate a lot of information into sections or to help you remember certain bullet points. Your notes will be much more easy to read with pops of bright color and it will help separate the big blocks of information for your tired eyes.
Just like eating right and sleeping well, this is one of those last minute study tips that is more focused on keeping your body and mind in top shape. Keeping yourself well should be one of the most commonly suggested and used study tools and often it is not. I find that exercise makes me sleep better, and helps me stay motivated as well as focused. So, I try to make time for going to the gym in general even if it’s just 30 minutes. But during finals week I try and make it one of my main priorities, along with studying, of course.
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