Finals Survival 101

Posted: April 17, 2017 | Author: Southern Utah University | Read Time: 2 minutes

Teacher in a classroom with studentsWith finals week looming, it is time to study and prepare for all tests and presentations. Here are tips and tricks to help aid your success during finals.

Develop healthy sleep habits. While you may need to pull the occasional all-nighter, overall you are much better served by getting a restful night's sleep. This may be difficult with long study sessions and Netflix breaks, but with eight hours of sleep each night, you will have an easier time retaining and recollecting information.

Feed your mind and body with healthy foods. Your nutrition is vital to staying alert and determined in your courses. Eat healthy foods often to keep your mind fueled and attentive.

Exercise helps activate the mind. Taking a half-hour run or walk increases both happiness and concentration. Try to exercise a minimum of thirty minutes a day leading up to and during finals week.

Start studying early. Students tend to cram, especially with so much to finish at the same time. Yet those last-minute study sessions do not usually pay off. "Think of it in terms of a basketball team," said Dr. Jared Tippets, vice president of student affairs at Southern Utah University. "They don't wait until the night before the big game to begin preparing and then stay up all night practicing. So, why would you wait to start studying and then stay up all night cramming before a big test?"

Create small goals that plug into the bigger picture. Set small milestones that are reachable, and then reward yourself once the goal is reached.

Take responsibility for your education. In order to success at anything in life, you need to make decisions about your priorities, time, and resources. Schedule out your own study time and work toward your personal goals.

Discover key productivity periods and places. Identify optimum times of the day and places where you concentrate best. Prioritize these times and locations for the most difficult study challenges.

Look for better solutions to problems. If you are struggling to understand the course material, try an alternate route to comprehension. Consult with the professor, tutor, academic advisor, classmate, study group, instructional videos, or papers to gain a better understanding of the subject.

Take time to unwind. You may have your tests spread out or piled on one day, but remember to take a breather and forget school for a second. Take a few hours every day to get your mind off exams. Your grades will thank you, and so will your roommates.

Determine your learning style. Students learn information differently, so identify your personal learning style through different questionnaires, like this Learning Styles Self-Assessment adapted from K.T. McWhorter.

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