The school year is coming to an end and we all know what that means…finals. You have worked hard all semester and only a few exams stand between you and the finish line. This can be a stressful and overwhelming time but it doesn’t have to be. We have come up with these 6 tips to help you be better prepared to ace these exams. Follow these tricks and you’re sure to conquer those finals!

1. Make a calendar to plan your remaining few weeks.
Using a different marker/highlighter for each of your classes, mark your exam dates and schedule times to study starting at least one week before your exam. Spreading out your study time will allow you to study in small chunks rather than cramming all at once.

2. Have a designated study area.
Creating a space that is specific for studying, preferably at a table or desk, will help you to stay focused on studying. Make sure to pick a place with little distractions and has enough space to lay out all your study materials. DO NOT study in bed or on a couch. Your brain already associates these spots with relaxation and will not give you the focus you need when studying.

3. Listen to instrumental music.
Listening to instrumental/classical music has been proven to help stimulate your brain and increase your ability to learn. This type of music relaxes your mind and allows you to focus on your task at hand. It cuts out the distraction of singing lyrics to a song or a TV show playing in the background. TV and songs can disrupt your brain from processing the information you are trying to remember.

4. Create flash cards.
Flash cards are proven to improve a person’s ability to retain information rather than just reading and highlighting. Flash cards allow you to incorporate multiple senses making it easier to retain the information. You are reading, writing, and speaking the information. This also gives you the opportunity to test yourself and put your brain in exam mode early on.

5. Take breaks.
Studying for big exams like final exams are tiring. There is a lot of information to remember and can get overwhelming. When you start to feel stressed, walk away. Have a snack, talk to someone, go for a walk, etc. Set goals for yourself to study for 20-30 minutes and then take a 5-10 minute break. If you sit and look at your information for too long you won’t retain any of it because it all starts to get lumped together.

6. Ask for help.
If you are having trouble with a concept or problem, ask for help. Your professors/instructors are there to help you understand. Send them an email, ask them in class, or go to their office hours. They want you to do your best and will help you if you ask. There is no shame in asking for help.

Good luck!

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