I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving breaks with their families and got some time to recharge for the final eleven days before final exams begin.
If you can relate to the title of this post, you understand that finals week is approaching, and guess what? You are not the only one feeling nervous! I have countless friends, many of whom are current SENIORS, who feel this way even as they go through this week for the seventh time now. With only eleven days remaining, I thought it would be fitting to offer some tips that should help you in regards to sleep and study habits.
Let’s start with sleep. Sleep is essential to a fully-functional body. It allows the body and mind to recharge, rest, and to process information you learned that day. In a study included in a Time magazine article, researchers concluded that “Short or poor sleep is a significant risk factor for poor academic performance that is frequently ignored” (http://time.com/3663796/for-better-grades-let-your-kids-sleep-more/). In other words, get your sleep.
On average your body needs 7 to 8 hours per night to be running efficiently the next day. What this means is you should avoid studying at the last minute leading up to your exam and instead try to study in more segmented time slots in the weeks leading up to the exam. If you create a work schedule for yourself and look at it every day, you will remind yourself of upcoming assignments, exams, and other due dates. If you have a studying plan written out, you will tend to follow it and help yourself later on the exam for doing so.
Now let’s move on to studying as a whole. The very first thing I ask myself is whether or not it is a cumulative exam. If it is, it will cover the material from the entire semester. If not, it most likely covers material since your most recent exam. Ask your professors about it as they involve MUCH different time commitments.
When I’m studying I also find it extremely helpful to remain organized. Take that however you’d like. For some it may mean creating a list of things they need to accomplish that week, separated day-by-day. For others it may mean buying a big calendar and writing out specific events on each date so they can visualize it better. Personally, I know I feel organized when I have note cards created for each set of lecture notes and when I have every assignment written down on my calendar. Also, know which days you are scheduled to take your exams! You can find the exam schedule here:
Moving on to good study locations, I would start with Slocum library. No, the chairs aren’t the most comfortable but you will be in a quiet environment where the main focus is usually work, not talking to friends. Another good location is the third floor of Beeghly. It is the silent floor of the library and is a good place to go when you need to concentrate and have no fear of distraction. In case anyone didn’t know, the cafe-area of the library is also the 24-hour section of Beeghly. After the main areas of the library close, you can use your student ID card to gain access to the area.
Hopefully some of these tips can help you out with finals quickly approaching. All you need to do is bust it for the next two weeks and you’re done. Good luck to everyone on their exams!