With finals week just around the corner, it’s hard not to be freaking out. After all, three exams, a final paper, and a project in four days is enough to make anyone a little stressed out. But, fear not! Check out these tips so that you’re not in your university’s library at 2 a.m. surrounded by Cheetos crumbs. You will thank us later.
- Check out your school’s offerings
Most schools do a pretty good job of offering resources to students during exam periods. Think puppy rooms, massages, free food, and more! Be sure to check out your student wellness center and your campus libraries as these places tend to have the most student events with free stuff.
- Get snacks that excite you
It’s easy to trudge over to the vending machine that’s 300 feet away when you’re deep in a pile of study guides. However, taking a trip to the store and picking out some healthier snack options before exams start is a smart way to make sure you’re taking care of your body and making your taste buds happy too. Try fruit, almonds, granola, yogurt, or guacamole when you’re feeling like you need a pick-me-up.
- Search for study materials and resources
Many sports teams, Greek organizations, clubs, and other groups keep study libraries that compile old notes and study guides from previous versions of the course. Ask your groups for access, and if all else fails, reach out to older friends in your major to see if they can lend you a hand and share their old flashcards or documents.
Pro tip: Need a reference list? Cite This For Me has a Harvard referencing generator that could help! You can also create MLA citations, APA citations, and references in thousands of other citation styles.
- Make a study group
Studying alone is important, but studying in a group can be really helpful, too! Finding a group of friends to go over the material before an exam will help you find your weak spots as everyone in a group will have different strengths. Try to reach out to any friends in the class, or even the people that sit next to you.
- Find a good study spot
A big part of successful studying has to do with your environment. If you need absolute silence, find that spot on campus where nobody ever goes. If you like a warmer vibe, try a local coffee shop. Once you have your spot nailed, you might even look forward to the daily grind that is exam season.
- Make a plan
At the beginning of exam period, make a schedule of all tests and deadlines. This will allow you to plan out your studying, staggering assignments that are lower priority with more focus on assignments that are due earlier. Having a timeline of your assignments will help you set and achieve your goals, and it will keep you on track for success.
- Meet with your TAs and professors
During exam week, professors and TAs often have office hours and review sessions. Always try to make it to these! These people are writing your exams and grading your assignments, so they will always know better than you how to prepare for finals and how to score well.
- Build in some time with your friends
While you might feel crunched for time, incorporating a study date or a lunch meetup with a friend will help you feel more relaxed and content. Also, finals period means that break is coming up, and you won’t get to see your pals for a few weeks! Take advantage of meal times and other calmer moments to socialize and catch up with your closest buds.
- Make a great playlist
Studying the same content for hours can get super boring. Try and spice things up with a little bit of music! Classical music is the best for studying as it often doesn’t have words and has a soothing effect; however, upbeat EDM music can be fun as well. Try to pick songs that will enhance your mood, and choose songs with fewer words. Share your playlist with a friend to make their week a little better, too!
- Get rid of distractions
Removing distractions is the key to successful studying. This can mean installing website blockers to keep you off of social media or simply turning your phone off while at the library. This way, you won’t be as tempted to scroll through Instagram or Twitter when you should be working. Don’t forget to reward yourself with a little free time every now and then, though!
Even if finals period has you in a craze, using these tips will help keep you organized and will help create a great study environment that won’t make you dread every minute spent reviewing notes and writing papers. Just remember, it will be worth it when your final grades reflect all of your hard work and commitment, so end the semester on a strong note with your newfound studying habits.
Get citing help and quickly create citations with Cite This For Me. There are resources on what is an annotated bibliography, a tool to create an in-text citation for a website, a Chicago citation generator, and more.