Everyone has their own strategies when it comes to studying, but sometimes you need some help to determine how to study for finals, especially if you haven't paid much attention the rest of the year.
For people who are studious the whole year, as well as students who play it by the year, studying for the finals in the last few days of the term is very important, and all students should know how to prepare for them.
12 Must-Know Study Hacks for Finals Week
Create a Study Guide
The first thing to do to learn how to study for finals is to create a study guide at least one week beforehand. The study guide is essentially a plan to go through your entire syllabus as per date - as organized in a calendar. Be sure to create a study guide that is practical and following which, you can complete the full syllabus with extra time allotted for rest and revisions. Try to keep up with the study guide as much as you can when you actually start studying for the finals.
Team Up with a Like Mind
If possible, team up with someone who thinks like you when it comes to studying. It's not necessary that you have to stay together at all times when studying. The idea is that you can help each other with any problem, or encourage each other when one person feels pressured and nervous.
Start with Enough Time on Your Hands
Just because you want to learn how to study for finals doesn't mean that you should start your studies the day before the exam. Even if you are adequately prepared to face exams, your studying should start a few days or weeks before the finals.
Learn to Prioritize Your Studies
You would only understand how to study for finals by prioritizing your subjects, i.e. based on the subjects you are good at and weak in. All students are weak in some subjects and strong on others, and the study guide should be made in accordance with that so that more time is given in the preparation of subjects that the student is weak in than the other topics.
Learn and Understand the Format of the Exam
Exam formats vary with each subject, topic, type as well as the teacher; therefore a very important part of studying for finals is to completely understand the format that the exam is in - i.e. essay questions, multiple choice questions, etc. This is important because your preparation for each subject depends quite a lot on the type of questions that will come on the exam.
Maintain a Normal Lifestyle
You might only have a few days to finish studying before the exams start and have to cover lot each day, but you still require maintaining a normal lifestyle with plenty of food and rest. For many students who are rather carefree the rest of the year, studying before the exams means binging on studies alone, forgetting to eat and sleep. This is actually not the right way to approach your exams because an unhealthy lifestyle with minimum food and no rest will make you sick immediately before the finals.
You will need to eat properly and take adequate rests in between studying sessions. Besides, a walk outside in the fresh air or taking an hour to do something else that helps you relax is also beneficial for your physical and mental peace.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Coffee is a popular beverage that most students prefer when studying for finals, especially if they are trying to stay awake doing the night; so are health drinks, tea and carbonated beverages. However, these drinks can help you stay awake and alert; they also make the body dehydrated.
A dehydrated body cannot focus on anything properly. A properly hydrated body on the other hand, will have increased memory power, keep your cognitive function at a high level and help you be more energetic. So instead of opting for soda and coffee, drink plain water to stay hydrated.
Teach a Class
One fun way to study and remember your lessons - a proven one, according to many - is to teach it to others. So if you are not too confident about a particular topic, practice taking a class with others as a teacher. Assemble your friends or family, or in their absence, half a dozen Teddy bears and explain the topic to them, just as a teacher would do in class. This is a technique that will not only make you study better, but increases your confidence in yourself as well.
Follow the 50-10 Rule
It is not healthy to study continuously; rather, you should follow the 50-10 rule which states that per hour, 50 minutes should be spent in studying and the other 10 minutes in relaxing. Continuously cramming will create pressure in your mind that you will need to remove in the 10 minutes every hour, thus creating a balance.
Determine Your Own Way of Studying
Everyone has their own way of studying, such as writing, memorizing, speaking aloud, visualizing, etc. You have to find out your own unique way that helps you study most effectively.
Treat Yourself Every Now and Then
Create milestones and treat yourself when you overcome them, such as a single M&M each time you finish a page. This will give you something to look forward to while studying.
Stop Right on Time
The last 12 to 15 hours before the exam is not the time to study hard but to relax. Try and finish everything the day before the finals so that you have an extra day in hand to relax and rest, and to prepare yourself for the finals in leisure.