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With the end of the semester quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about and preparing for finals. Though studying for finals can be stressful and time-consuming, there are things you can do to help you do well on your exams. Here are some study strategies for finals success.
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- Start Early. Don’t wait until the start of finals week to begin studying for exams and getting all your notes in order. Create a study schedule for yourself, starting a few weeks before finals commence, so you’ll make sure to set aside time each night to review some notes or do some prep for one of your exams. This way, you won’t have to stay up late each night before your tests cramming since you’ll already have plenty of study hours under your belt once the dates of your finals get closer. By starting early, you’ll also have time to rewrite or reorganize your notes as needed and catch up on some of the assigned reading you may have fallen behind on, which will help you be able to study better and more effectively for your finals.
- If you have a very difficult exam the second day of finals week and a much easier final the first day, make sure to schedule your time accordingly and prioritize your finals studying schedule. Make sure to evaluate how much of your grade each final is worth and how much studying time you think you’ll need for your various tests so you can plan and prepare accordingly. Starting early is a good way to give yourself plenty of time to prioritize and study for all your exams without feeling like you’re neglecting other responsibilities or other tests you have to get ready for.
- Make A Study Guide. While many professors may pass out or post online a very rudimentary study guide, they’re usually just the starting point of your studying. Keep in mind that your professor’s study guide is probably not all-inclusive and there may be questions on the exam that aren’t really covered in the study guide or were glossed over. Use their study guide to create your own study guide, inserting your class notes and textbook summaries where appropriate to form a well-organized, comprehensive guide that you can use as your many study material.
- Form A Study Group. Studying in a group can be helpful sometimes, though it really depends on your overall learning and studying style. However, going to at least one group study session or a class review can help fill in blanks you might have in your notes or clarify information you weren’t sure about. If your professor or TA offers a review session, plan to attend as it will definitely aid your studying and be a good precursor to the exam and its format. Organizing a study group will also allow you and your peers to quiz and explain different concepts to each other, which is a helpful strategy when it comes to understanding and remembering the material.
Finals make up a good portion of your grade for the whole semester – so make sure you take your exams seriously and implement study strategies that will enable you to succeed on all your exams.
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