For many students, finals mean all-nighters, last minute cramming, abusing Adderall and a lot of stress. However, in order to reduce major stress, there are many effective ways to study which students can start doing before the week of finals.
Sophomore business major, Beth Lewis, is a writing tutor for the Julia N. Visor Academic Center on ISU’s campus. Lewis has developed studying habits of her own which she feels have helped her through finals.
“Since most of my classes contain many theories, concepts and vocabulary words, flash cards prove to be the most useful,” Lewis said. “I also like to review past online homework assignments and read through the lecture notes, packets and chapter PowerPoints.”
Even though it may not seem like there are enough hours in the day during finals, taking care of yourself is key to doing well on your exams.
During finals, try to make goals of getting enough sleep, eating healthy and taking breaks from studying. Students often set these goals and lose track of them in the last few days before exams. However, if you are healthy and alert, you are more likely to feel better about those tests.
Lewis often hears about students staying up late to study for an exam and says it is ineffective.
“I find that when I study right before I go to sleep, I wake up not remembering the information very well. Last semester I decided to wake up early each morning to study and found I retained the information much better than studying the night before,” Lewis said.
Another effective technique for studying is not waiting until the week of finals, or the night before, to start reviewing the material.
By reviewing a little each day in the weeks before, you are more likely to remember information during that last week and while taking your exams.
Junior business major, Joey Scavelli, is also a tutor at the Visor center and is helping students with Math 120. Going into his senior year, Scavelli has learned some helpful tips that he can use throughout the semester to better prepare him for finals.
“Try to take classes during the time that you’re most awake. If you’re not a morning person, like myself, take afternoon classes. Class time is the same time you’ll be taking your tests, so it’s a good idea to make sure it’s at a time you’re most alert,” Scavelli said.
Both tutors agree that pulling all-nighters or not getting enough sleep is never a good idea. Going into a test when you are too tired will lead to poor performance and cramming the night before won’t help you learn the material.
Scavelli thinks one of the best ways to learn the material is to utilize class time.
“We’re paying a lot of money to be in class, so why not get the most out of it? Class is one of the only times we have the chance to ask an expert when we don’t understand something, so asking questions is really important,” Scavelli said.
So as students kick off the last couple weeks of the semester, consider some of this advice, take the time you have left to ask questions and even talk to your peers about the material. With these tips in mind, students will hopefully feel well prepared and ready to tackle finals week.