Finals week, the inevitable week that stands before summer vacation can begin.
How students prepare for this week can make or break their desired grade for the courses they’ve been working so hard for. There are many tips and tricks to prepare for this week. In order to be successful, it is important that each student finds the way that they learn best.
There are many popular tricks that other students use to help them cope for the inevitable week of long study sessions and many cups of coffee.
Some of these tips include making the best of the course notes. The lecture slides that professors have up for the class each day are likely important and something students should write down and study. These slides hold valuable information for the class, such as main ideas to study or maybe the formula that will be used most throughout the final. After the daily course work is done it is important that students take time outside of class to re-read the notes and think back to what the professor was explaining. If it is hard to understand, attempt to pick apart the notes and really dig deep into the meaning.
Define words that you don’t understand, and look back into the textbook and use examples of the word in different contexts. If it is still hard to understand, look at the chapters located before or after the chapter in question. This will likely provide context clues to the chapter and even offer a deeper meaning. If possible, meet up with peers outside of class. Create study sessions and if the professor does not provide a review, create one.
Study this material and know the definitions and how to use the given material in an example. Studying with friends will offer different perspectives on the material and can perhaps help you better understand the context.
Create flash cards of the material. One popular way to do this is through Quizlet. Quizlet offers an app that can be easily downloaded on a device and allows students to carry flash cards wherever you go.
A simple review throughout each day can keep a students brain familiar with the material at hand, that way when study time comes around, the material won’t be as daunting as it appeared before. Remember, for every one hour of class, two hours outside of the classroom should be spent studying.
Next students should take breaks between study sessions. It is important for students to not overwhelm their brains.
Students should give themselves periodic “brain breaks”. If you study for an hour, give yourself 15 to 20 minuets to get a drink of water, grab a snack and reward your brain for staying focused. Set a timer for the duration of this “brain break” and be sure to not go over the allotted time. It can be much harder to re-focus if there is too much time between study sessions. There are many ways to make use of this time. Light a candle, turn on some music, make the environment calm and open your mind to learning more information while keeping away from distractions The Dick Smith Library offers around the clock opportunities to study in a comfortable quiet environment. The hours for this semester’s finals week are as follows:
Starting with Sunday, May 2, the library will be open from noon. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, May 3 through May 6, from 7 a.m. till 2 a.m. On Friday, May 7, the library will be open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. On Saturday, May 8, from noon till 9 p.m. Sunday May 9, noon. till 2 a.m. Continuing through the week, Monday and Tuesday, May 10 and May 11, from 7 a.m. till 2 a.m. Next, Wednesday, May 12, from 7 a.m. till 5 p.m. Lastly, on May 13 and May 14 the library will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Next, stay organized and informed. Finals week can be very overwhelming, and it is common to get unorganized in the midst of chaos. It is important to keep a planner, or calendar to keep track of final dates and times for exams. Students should keep all of their folders organized, and if they takes notes on a computer, make sure to find time to print out the notes and highlight the areas of importance.
Keep track of assignments that are due just before finals begin. Create a schedule and be sure to do the assignment in the allotted time. If the assignment takes more time than planned, be sure to re-arrange the schedule to maintain enough time to do the other assignments that are left. Do not cram and do not rush, it can create messy unorganized work. If you start early, cramming for an exam will not be necessary, as the preparation would have already been completed in your previous time.
Keep an eye out for any announcements made by the professor that may affect the assignment, such as updated deadlines, tips and things to watch out for. If students are unsure of anything in the material that will be on the test or assignment, they should be sure to reach out to the professor via email or phone during their office hours if applicable.
If all else fails, reach out to peers to get the information needed. Be sure to know how the exam will be given. If it is multiple choice, it is likely that the test will be reliant on terms and definitions. If the format will be through an essay, know how to apply these terms and definitions in any given example. Knowing how the test will be given will allow students to prepare in the correct way.
Finals week can be extremely stressful for some. Be sure to reward yourself if you can and have time. Whether that means going to get your favorite candy at the store or taking a walk for some fresh air. Keep your brain in the right mode for learning.
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