By: Josh Jacobi
It’s that time of the year! Summer break is on the verge and the only thing
standing in the way is a week of final exams. The one week in the semester that can
make or break your entire semester’s work. This can be a stressful time for many
students. It’s even more stressful for those who decide to wait until the very last minute.
Well, if you are looking for some last-minute study tips, here are a few suggestions:
Make a Plan
It’s never too late to start a plan. Take a few minutes to create a study plan,
prioritize the most important topics, and allocate time to each one. Stick to the plan and
be disciplined about following it. Making a plan includes deciding when to take breaks to
eat, sleep, relax, etc. However, don’t allow these breaks to cover too much time. A
balanced schedule will be your greatest ally in stressful last minute situations.
Focus on the Key Points
Try to identify the key concepts, formulas, and facts that are most likely to appear
on the exam, and focus your attention on them. Don’t waste your time focusing on
topics that were barely covered in class and will most likely not appear on the exam. If
the professor stresses specific topics during their lectures, those are the key points that
should require the most attention.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Look over your notes, make flashcards, look over past quizzes and lecture
materials, get a tutor or a study buddy, do something that will help you learn and
memorize the material. This can be boring at times but it’s up to you to make it fun. Turn
studying into a game, add an incentive at certain points (Ex: 1 minute of TikTok per
question answered correctly on practice exam), get a study buddy, and so many other
ideas to make studying fun. It’s all up to you as to how you want to study.
Taking regular breaks can help you stay focused and reduce the likelihood of
burnout. Take short breaks every hour or so to rest your mind and recharge. Relaxation
can help the mind not just rest but also allow you to think more clearly. The mind
functions a lot better when you aren’t stressed and completely relaxed. Tips to get
relaxed include enjoying your favorite activity, meditation, quick phone break, and even
eating your favorite food. Just remember to not allow breaks to go too long so you can
get back to studying.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
A good night’s sleep is essential for memory consolidation and retention. Try to
get at least 7-8 hours of sleep the night before the exam. This will allow you to be fully
refreshed and ready to go for the exam regardless of when the exam is. Memory
retention is key when studying for exams so you don’t want to throw away the hours of
studying because you decided to stay up all night. Get some sleep before your exams!
Eating a balanced diet and staying hydrated can help you stay alert and focused
during your study sessions. Eating healthy and being hydrated allows the body to get its
nurtients which in turn allows you to focus on the exam and avoid worrying about being
sick. Junk food (such as fast food and high sugary foods) leave a bad impact on your
energy levels, concentration, and leads to fatigue. So next time you’re deciding between
a candy bar and a banana, I’d recommend you go with the banana.
Believe in yourself and your abilities. You got this. Visualize yourself doing well
on the exam and getting that A+. Going into the exam with a negative attitude leads to
bad results. If you need help looking for positivity, send yourself to your “happy place”.
Visualize yourself in your favorite place in the world with your favorite people doing your
favorite activities. If that doesn’t get you in the positive mindset, try thinking of an
enjoyable memory like a vacation or when your sibling did something really funny.
Whatever it is that makes you happy, do it. It will help on the exam.
Those are the last minute tips to help your studying efforts for your exams. If
you’re looking for resources to help your studying efforts, the Mary Poppe Chrisman
Success Center (link here) is always open to all students and study rooms are available
for those that need a space to study. Thank you for reading the article and happy