Developing Good Habits: Study Tips For Upcoming Finals

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It's finals season! This semester has once again flown by and we are facing the end of it. Many of us are figuring out how to balance group projects, tests, work, and home life. Thinking about December scares me--I have a lot to do between now and winter break. So how do I stay focused? I have a few study habits that help keep me on track.

I want to point out that everyone has different study methods and my methods won't work for everyone. That being said, here's how I prepare and study when I have a lot on my plate:

  1. Use a Calendar
    Sometimes writing things in a calendar is a hassle but it does come in handy when you need to look at the “big picture” of your tasks for the following month. I suggest using your iPhone or smartphone. Your phone is (almost) always with you and you can see what is coming up for your day or your week. Just make sure you always update it!
  2. Use the resources that professors give you
    You know those study materials that professors post on Oncourse? USE THEM. Most of their questions come right off those study materials.
  3. Give yourself one week
    We all procrastinate in some aspects of our daily lives. I notice that classmates wait until the night before to start studying. Once they get their grades back they wonder why they didn't get the grade they wanted. I've learned from others (and myself) that it's wise to dedicate at least one week before the test to studying. Even if the studying is minor at the beginning, you’re able to retain the information better than you if “cram” it the night before. Trust me: studying days before the test will give you advantage.
  4. Quiz yourself
    I know this sounds weird, but it works. Sometimes I give myself a list of questions that might appear on the test. If I get a question wrong on a test it isn't because I didn't know the content, it was because the question was framed differently.
  5. Don’t stress about it.
    Take a deep breath. I've spent a lot of time worrying about tests. Most often they aren't as bad as you think they'll be!

To all my readers, good luck on finals this semester! Remember, do what works best for you.