As a student of ACS, I know that when I pronounce the word “final exams”, the immediate reaction of students is to say “OH MY GOD, I AM SO STRESSED.”
I also know that final exams can be, in fact, extremely difficult for students who do not practice basic study strategies for finals week.
Many students suffer through test anxiety during finals week, which is a combination of physiological over-arousal, tension, somatic symptoms, extreme worry, fear of failure and catastrophe that occurs before or during tests.
Here are some simple tips that will make your life so much easier before taking final exams:
- Create a schedule: Find out the specific date of when you are taking certain tests and map out a study timeline for finals. Mark a calendar with test dates and create a timeline for your study sessions. Questions you should be asking yourself are: How many weeks ahead do I need to study? How many hours a day will I spend studying?
2. Put together all class materials: Collect all materials you need to prepare for your exams, such as: class notes, study guides, previous tests, previous assignments, reading assignments, and your textbooks. Organize those materials by subjects. If you are missing any materials you need to study for, do not be afraid to ask your teacher or your peers.
3. Organize your materials in a way that is easiest for you to review: If you are a visual learner, you might want to watch videos, make flashcards, draw maps or diagrams and color-in sections. If you are an auditory learner, you might want to listen to audios or use Quizlet, which is an amazing app for studying that allows you to hear written down texts.
4. Take breaks: Do not over-exaggerate when studying. Just like your body needs rest after an exhausting day, your brain cells need rest after learning or acquiring new material for vast periods of time. Take short relaxing breaks after study sessions, such as taking a bath or going outside for a walk.
5. Go to bed early the night before your tests: Many students pull up “all-nighters” to study before a test…that is THE WORST THING YOU CAN POSSIBLY DO. Studies have shown that staying up past your regular bedtime hours the day before a test will hurt your abilities on the actual test day.
6. Ask for help: Many students get extremely stressed when they spend hours studying a subject that they do not completely understand it. If you truly are struggling to understand a subject, do not be afraid to ask a teacher or peer for help.