How to Study for Final Exams

studying finals
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Final exams are almost here! Our team gathered some quick tips on how to study for exams and how to stay calm under pressure.

1. Study in chunks

“Cramming” is what many students do, but it’s not the best way to study. By this we mean don’t try to remember all the information you need to know at once. Don’t stay up all night stuffing every piece of information for a test in the morning. Study in 20-50 minute periods and give yourself a five to 10 minute break between each session. For best results, study throughout one full week.

2. Step away from social media and other distractions 

If you have to study, don’t get on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any other type of social media. Social media is a distraction and you can’t get any studying done if someone keeps messaging you or you have to see the newest tweet.

3. Study in a group

Being in a study group can motivate you to study. Plus, explaining the information out loud to someone else helps you understand the material better and helps you remember the information. Each member can bring a snack too!

4. Prevent anxiety 

We all get a little nervous before taking a test. But if you’re someone who gets really nervous or “blanks” (can’t remember any information), spend some time before the test imagining yourself getting a perfect score. Also, taking deep breaths, focusing on what you know, and keeping things in perspective.

5. Exercise 

Go for a walk around campus. Clear your mind. Just 20 minutes of exercise a day can help improve your memory! If it’s too cold outside, you can dance around your room.

6. Time management

Every minute counts during finals week. So make a realistic schedule of when to study. Leave time for breaks and prioritize for the tests you need to study for the most.

7. Meet with professors 

All professors have office hours. If you are unsure about information or don’t understand, set up a time to meet with your professor. Even if you have one question, feedback from the professor can help. He/she may even give you tips about taking the exam.

8. Start with what you know

This is best if you have comprehensive exams. These exams test you on material from the ENTIRE semester/quarter. Kind of like building a house. Start with the information you know (the basement). Then start studying the more difficult material or new material. You can associate the new information with what you already know.

9. Use memory aids

It’s hard to remember a bunch of boring facts. It’s hard to remember just 20 words. But if you put them in a sentence or create a story using that information. Also, drawing pictures, diagrams, or make up cartoons. These little fun memory aids can help you remember all that boring stuff.

One kind of memory aid is a mnemonic device. This is a short poem, a special word, a phrase you can remember, or an acronym.

One example:

You have to remember the order of operations for math. Parentheses, Exponents, Multiply, Divide, Add, and Subtract. That is boring. Or you may not remember the order when it comes to test time. Instead, remember this phrase: Please Excuse MDear Aunt Sally. That’s more fun and easy to remember.

10. Write everything

If you can’t remember something, write it down. Keep writing it down until you remember. The repetition of writing will help you remember!


Do you have any study tips you would like to share? Comment below or comment on Facebook!

Good luck on finals from the International Student Voice Magazine team!


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