Finals are starting to creep up on everyone so here are a couple of tips to help you study for finals in order to get the best results possible. Good luck, wishing the best for everybody!
Choose a good studying location!
A study location can change your productivity. It is crucial that you don’t study in places that you correlate your free time to, like your bed or couch. A desk with a comfortable chair and good lights can motivate you to study. Also, having a quiet or white noise background can be helpful IF that is how you study best. Make sure it fits you and your study style.
Make sure you limit your distractions
While studying it is a good idea to turn off your phone or put it on Do Not Disturb. Notifications and sounds that come from your phone can often distract you from studying and limit you time that you spend at your desk. You can also put your phone face down so that you don’t see it turn on every time someone messages you or when you get a notification.
Make a plan
Before you go into a long study session especially for something like finals that covers a lot of topics, it can be helpful to create a plan about a week in advance to assess how much time you will need to study and when. Using a calendar app or just pencil and paper to outline your study schedule and decide what days you will study can help use your time efficiently.
Make a study guide based on your plan
For each subject, making your own study guide with all the topics along with every subtopic and every unit that you learned that year or semester can help you visualize how much content there is to study. So go through your syllabus or textbooks and write down everything you have learned so far, it will help you so much in the long run.
Assess what you know and what you need to learn
After you have your study guide, go through and highlight with different colors for each level of understanding of each topic. For example, if you understand topic A then you can highlight it green if you need to refresh your mind on topic B you can use yellow and if you don’t know about topic C you can use red. That way you can prioritize and see exactly what topics you need to focus on.
Analyze where you make your mistakes
Another important tip is to look through your previous tests, assignments, or quizzes and see where you made your mistakes. It could be a simple error, misunderstanding, or application errors. By knowing where you make mistakes you can pinpoint it and work on that specific genre of practice questions and focus on preventing yourself from making those same mistakes again!
Teach yourself anything you are unsure about
Go through the list of topics and find any that you highlighted in red. Look through all the resources that you have for that specific topic which can include textbooks, lectures, notes, practice questions, assignments, or videos that explain it. Use your resources and teach yourself about that topic, make sure you really understand well and if that doesn’t work, you can always send your teacher an email asking for clarification on a topic.
Practice practice practice!! +quizes
Although this may seem obvious, it is always important that you practice applying what you have learned to check for your understanding. Use active recall methods like flashcards, practice quizzes, textbook or workbook problems, or Q & A. Doing practice really is the best way to prepare you for the actual test and to check for your understanding and complete mastery of the topic.
Even though it may seem not important, you need to take breaks while studying. It becomes harder for your brain to retain information if it keeps running nonstop. So go and do something you like or get something to eat or go take a walk. Anything that gets you up and moving away from your desk for a little while. But make sure it is controlled and not to take too many or breaks that are too long!
Get enough sleep!
This is probably the most important but often most overlooked tip. If you’re studying for finals a lot, it is important to sleep a lot as well! Your brain is working so hard for a long period of time, you need to let your brain and your body rest. If you take a final when you’re tired, it’s going to prevent you from performing to the best of your ability so make sure you’re well-rested and ready for your final!