1. Study. This one is pretty obvious. With that said, there are good ways, and not so good ways to study. Don’t cram—research shows you’ll lose that information as soon as the next day. Do use practice tests—they really do work. And find a study partner so you can verbally answer the questions that they pose—if you can accurately explain a concept to someone else, then you are in good shape. This is especially helpful in preparing for essay or short answer exams. Also, be sure to pick a good study space. Do you study best in a totally quiet, distraction-free environment, or are you one of those people who can focus better in a louder environment like a coffee shop? Know what works for you and do it.
2. Take breaks. Be sure to add in some time for fun or relaxation, just be sure your break-time does not exceed your study time! Consider studying for an hour, followed by a 10 minute break, for example.
3. Exercise. Exercise has a ton of benefits. It helps regulate appetite, sleep, stress levels and even your mood. Additionally, exercise increases blood flow and oxygen flow in the body, which increases alertness. So, an ideal time to exercise might be right before a big study session, or at the end of the day as a healthy way to blow off some steam. Just try to finish exercising at least 2 hours before bedtime so that it does not disrupt your sleep.
4. Sleep. It helps you to consolidate information that you studied, and helps you to recall the information better during the test. Research shows that being sleep deprived or keeping an irregular sleep schedule can impair your memory for up to the next 4 days. So, be sure to get some good quality zzzz’s.
5. Time management. Final exam schedules can be overwhelming. Be sure to plan out your study time during the week, devoting more time to areas that are more difficult for you. What areas can you handle studying solo, versus what areas will it be helpful to find a study partner/group? Focus on one project at a time.
We hope these tips were helpful for you. If you find that you are overwhelmed by stress or need further assistance in any of the above topics, consider scheduling an appointment to speak with a professional counselor in the on-campus Counseling Center. We are here to enhance student wellness. Just call 337-475-5136, or come by our office in Kaufman 112 to schedule an appointment.