Exams can be an incredibly stressful time for students. Actually, let’s rephrase that - exam periods are DEFINITELY a super stressful time for all students, regardless of degree, program, school, etc. If it isn’t a tough time for you, you’re one of the lucky ones! For everyone else, we feel for you and wanted to share some of our suggestions for getting through this hectic time. Having the proper strategies in place can make finals season a lot more manageable and less stressful. Here’s our take on the matter.
You’ve heard it many times before from family members, teachers, and friends, but there’s a reason why this tip never gets old. Getting adequate sleep every night is scientifically proven to improve your focus, memory, and overall well-being. You may have some late nights during your finals week, but you should still strive to get at least 8 hours of shut-eye. Work sleep into your study schedule if you can.
You know what they say, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Before jumping into all of your assignments, you should organize each paper, test, or project by its due date and difficulty. From there, you can prioritize how much time you are going to spend studying or working each day. By breaking down your assignments into smaller goals, you will be able to work at a steady pace instead of cramming last minute.
It can be difficult to avoid internet distractions, especially if you are using your computer to study for a test or write a paper. However, you might be spending more time on email, social media, and video streaming sites than you realize. To limit time wasted online, consider leaving your phone in your backpack, disconnecting from Wifi when possible, and avoiding sites that can suck you in, such as Netflix and Facebook. To help you stay on track, you might also allow yourself timed 10-15 minute breaks in between studying to surf the internet. By timing yourself, you won’t let a short break turn into 30+ minutes of distraction.
You have control over the environment that you work in. Before you start studying, seek out a setting that works best for you. Maybe you like doing work in cafes because of the ambient noise and the upbeat atmosphere. Maybe you work better in your campus library because of the peace and quiet. Or maybe you are most comfortable in your dorm room or apartment. Whatever the case may be, figure out what distracts you and what keeps you focused. Then, find the location that is best catered to your needs.
While taking handwritten notes might require a little bit more effort, it can be a useful way to retain information. Consider going through your lecture notes (whether they’re digital or on a piece of paper) and writing down the pieces of information you haven’t mastered yet. Continue to do this daily, until little the list of notes you haven’t mastered becomes smaller and smaller. Studying you own handwritten notes and flashcards can assist you in the memorization process. If you’re worried about your notes becoming unorganized or getting lost, consider a reusable notebook like the Everlast - a digitally-compatible and reusable option.
From one student to another … best of luck as you embark on the end of the semester!
Nicole is an undergraduate student at Tufts University where she is studying English and Film. She is passionate about all things writing, journaling, and design. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys reading, going to flea markets, and going to the movie theatre. Her favourite product from the Rocketbook line is the Everlast Mini, which she uses to write down her to-do lists for the day!