With finals right around the corner, we thought it was time to talk about a few study tips and tricks to help lower the stress that comes during this time of year. ABD team member Emily has her top eight study tips below to help you successfully finish off the school year!
Tip 1: Organize, Organize, Organize
I cannot stress this enough! Make sure to organize everything you need to study for beforehand. If your class final is only on the second half of the semester/quarter, focus your time on those topics, rather than everything all at once. Also, make a schedule of when each of your finals are so you know what to prioritize studying each day.
Highlight, bold or underline any key points you need to remember. I like to make small notes of key things to remember in the margins of my notebooks. Sometimes I would draw diagrams or charts when I needed something to visually help me.
Tip 2: Utilize the Study Guides
Most classes provide study guides for what will be on the final, so use them to your advantage. Like study tip 1, don’t focus on things you don’t need to right now. There’s lots of time to go back to review when you’re not trying to study for 5 different classes.
If your professor doesn’t offer study guides, you will be okay! Form a group with some classmates and create your own study guide to work from.
Tip 3: Form Study Groups
Speaking of groups, forming a study group for final is another great idea. When you work in groups to study, section off different parts so all of the work doesn’t fall on just you.
Set deadlines for the group to finish each section so everyone has time to review the entire guide, either on their own or again as a group.
Tip 4: Stay Hydrated and Remember to Eat
It’s not uncommon to get so focused on studying that hours pass and you realize you missed lunch and dinner – it happened to me many times throughout college. Remember to take a few minutes to grab a bite to eat, and break up your coffee with some water to make sure you’re keeping hydrated. Eating healthier food will help, too! You’ll have more energy when you snack on some apples or almonds, rather than going for a greasy burger that makes you want to take a nap after.
Tip 5: Set Timers for Breaks
It’s okay to take breaks and rest your brain. Taking 30 minutes to catch up on your favorite TV show or play a video game can really help you in the long run by not overworking your mind. Or maybe get outside and go for a walk. Breathing in fresh air is great for the body and mind. Try not to spend hours with your face in a book or staring at a computer screen – it will seriously help.
Tip 6: Find your Spot
Not everyone works best when studying in a crowded library, just like not everyone works best when studying in their dorm room. Make sure to find a place that will help you be most productive. Are coffee shops too loud and busy for you to focus? Avoid them and try to find a more tranquil spot to get to work. Perhaps a park, or your living room.
Tip 7: Figure Out How You Retain Information
We are all unique, and so is how we retain information. Find out what way or ways you best retain information and use that to your advantage when preparing for your finals. The three key ways are:
Aural – record lectures so you can go back and listen to them
Physical – take longhand notes
Visual – read the information
I am best with visual and physical retention. I took a ton of notes in college and would go back and highlight & bold key topics. I would then create diagrams, drawings and tables to help me remember information better. Some people may be better with an aural method, where you record lectures and play them back. This may be helpful if you commute a long distance to school and can listen while driving to and from class.
Tip 8: Finalize The Rest of Your Spring and Fall Designs on Time
You may think this is a tad silly, but it REALLY helps lower your stress and focus on studying when there’s one less thing to worry about. Be sure to finalize the rest of your Spring projects on time, and get your Fall recruitment projects started early. Recruitment season will be here before you know it, so make sure you’re planning ahead and finalizing all that you can now.
Need some inspiration for recruitment? Check out Adam Block Design’s Gallery! We can customize anything you see or we can make something totally new for you.
Do you already use use any of these study tips and tricks? Do you have any other study tips that you’d like to share? Let us know below in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you!
Contributed by Emily Patterson