A Simple Guide to Surviving Finals Week

A Simple Guide to Surviving Finals Week

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Finals week. Yes, I am typing this post already having many side effects of dreaded exams including baggy eyes and searching for an abundance of sleep, but seem to only find more pots of coffee. It’s undeniable that final exam week could feature the highest stress levels per square foot of Mount Union property than any other week of the academic year. By reading this guide however, I am sure you will be able to push through the dreaded last week of the semester being in higher spirits, at least a little. Give these hints a try, as they might help you.

Remain Organized
Find the exam schedule and determine which days and times your final exams will be held. It may be helpful to prepare a written schedule of the date of your tests along with when you plan on studying for them. With having many tests crammed together, your mind may slip of when certain things are due. It is important to prioritize your workload and study for comprehensive exams more. Also write down study sessions, final reviews and times you will meet with groups to go over material. All of these will help you better understand the class material. In addition, calculating your grade in class and determining a goal for the final will help you stay focused.

Stay Healthy
Final exam week may force you to lose many hours of sleep, but don’t let it be a habit! Sleep is crucial for your body to rejuvenate and rest allowing you to be more focused and observatory, which are essentials for taking a test. Another important thing is to not skip meals. Food is energy to the body and it feeds your mind to help ideas flow and stay concentrated. Also, remember to take study breaks by going for a run, working out or just getting up to dance for 10 minutes on a study break. Remember to stay hydrated too! A dehydrated body is weak and lethargic, something you don’t want just in time for finals.

Be Confident
This is the most crucial part of surviving finals. Having studied material for lengthy periods of time, it is easy to say you probably know the material better than you think you do. Keep things in perspective. This is just another test that you are prepared for, so put it in your mind that you will do well. Remember too that confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong. As long as you do your best what else more could you ask for?

Good luck to everyone on final exams! Be great.

The Bane of My Existence

The Bane of My Existence

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As I sit here “multi-tasking,” thinking that I’m taking in real information from my study materials while keeping my eyes on NCIS and slowly scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I realized I really need a reality check. I guess thus far the reality check isn’t working because logically I realize writing this is just my latest procrastination tactic. However, a little more productive than Facebook or TV, eh?! Anyway, the reality check… I really need to study up on my study skills. I’m standing at the bottom of a very tall mountain of a week: three exams, one quiz and one paper due. For some strange reason, the panic has not set in that the first of these exams happens in just over 12 hours.

So… for all of you out there who also have a bit of difficulty getting started on that paper or starting the long road to preparing for an exam, I’ve decided to compile a few study tips. Now, I’m doing this for myself too, so bear with me if they aren’t the greatest.

1. Turn the TV off. I know, the Law and Order marathon that’s on right now is killer, but chances are you’ll waste at least 25 minutes of every hour staring at the TV. No, turning the volume all the way down does not work… I’ve already tried it!

2. Don’t have music on too loud either. Personally I enjoy classical piano music when I’m studying… that way there’s no lyrics that will distract me.

3. If you don’t need the internet, turn your wifi off/unplug your ethernet cord. Facebook is a daunting thing to avoid.

4. If you do need the internet, try this to “keep you out” of Facebook, Twitter, any website that will distract you: http://keepmeout.com/en/. All you need to do is put in the website you’d like to be kept out of, make a bookmark for the page, and it keeps you out of the website for a designated period of time.

5. Take breaks. Going straight for six hours will make your brain turn to mush. Try smaller chunks with short breaks between each, maybe an hour of studying with 15 to 20 minute breaks between. Take a walk, make some food, watch a funny YouTube video (here’s your time to Facebook creep as well!).

6. Try studying with one or two other people. Maybe you missed some of the notes… chances are someone else will have caught it. Not to mention, actually saying things out loud sometimes engrains them in memory a bit better than just reading them over and over again.

7. Finally, and arguably most important, is that you GET SLEEP! It’s recommended that you get at least six hours the night before an exam. If you study all night and only get an hour of sleep, your brain doesn’t have time to process it. (It’s true… my cognitive psych professor told me!)