Ending The Semester Right: 10 Tips for Hacking Finals

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By: AUTUMN JOHNSON; johnsoau@mnstate.edu

Many college students think they know how to study andprepare for finals, but they don’t. Final exams aren’t just any tests. They arethe most important tests of the semester, and the tests that can determinefinal grades. Following these 10 easy steps can help you ace those exams.

1) Sit down and make a plan.

Start by sitting down and looking at the syllabus. Make sure you know exactly what is going to be on the exam. If you have a study guide, have that printed out and read it over.

2) Do not wait until the last minute.

Waiting until the last minute can hurt your grade and create even more stress than you should have. Start studying weeks before your exam; getting a head start on studying will help you a lot.

3) Split it up.

Don’t study all the material at once, and don’t start studying the night before the exam. Start by breaking it up and studying for about an hour each day. You can break it up even more by studying for only 20 minutes, doing something else, and then study for 20 more minutes.

4) Form a study group.

Forming a study group can really help, because you can ask your classmates if you don’t understand something or need more information. Meeting with a study group can improve your understanding of the material and can improve your tests scores.

5) Find a good study spot.

Finding a good study spot is key to focusing while you’restudying. If you are studying in your dorm room with your roommate watching TV or listening to music, that can be very distracting and will not help you focus. Find somewhere quiet, clean and free of any other distractions.

6) Prioritize your material.

Study and work on projects/papers that are due first. Don’t overwork yourself with homework that isn’t due anytime soon. Spend the right amount of time working on homework based on the class and how difficult it is.

7) Talk to your professor.

Setting up a meeting with your professor can be beneficial in many ways. Meeting with your professor can give you clarification on material you don’t understand, and they can give you more tips and resources to use.

8) Take care of yourself.

Taking care of yourself is a big thing during finals week. Don’t overwork yourself. Use your time wisely. Make sure you are scheduling time to relax and spend time with your friends and family.

9) Eat right.

Eating right is important because if you are staying up until all hours of the night drinking energy drinks or copious amounts of coffee to stay awake to finish that paper, your body and brain will be negatively affected. Fuel your body with good, resourceful food and drinks. Eat a hearty snack right before your exam, and you will have the energy to finish strong.

10) Sleep.

Sleep is crucial during this time. Your brain needs time to decompress and take in all the information you are studying. Getting a full eight hours of sleep will help you feel more refreshed in the morning to conquer that test.     

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