The Final Weeks Before Finals Week
Spring break is amazing until you get to that last Sunday and think of everything you have to do before dead week. It seems like six weeks of school is a long time to get everything together for your classes but then you have to take off finals week because that’s not a normal classes week, and then take off dead week because most of what you’re doing is studying for finals and you won’t have time to do much other school work. So before you know it you only have four weeks left of normal time to finish everything that needs to be done and somehow miraculously pull your grades up. Here’s some hopefully helpful tips and tricks to make it through the final weeks of school:
Make a Plan
This is the most useful thing you could do for a couple different reasons. First, it will help you get organized and allow you to see everything you actually have to get done. By doing this you can make a schedule about what you need to work on and when to help you make sure that you can finish everything on time and that you don’t forget to do anything. This also personally puts my mind at ease and helps me not stress out as much. After writing everything out, I print out two calendars that have however many weeks on them and make one with all of the due dates and the other with when I am going to do what.
This is always a tricky one. You may feel like staying up late studying and then getting up early to go to class helps you because you’re learning things instead of sleeping, but that is actually not the case at all. Psychology Today published an article about how getting an adequate amount of sleep after studying is much more beneficial to your memory than studying a ton and not sleeping or barely sleeping at all. Sleeping allows your brain to encode your memories, allowing you to actually remember and recall the material you have been studying. So even though it seems impossible to get enough sleep during these final weeks, remember: studying then sleeping rather than staying up all night studying will help you score better on a test because your brain has time to encode the information you are learning.
Go Outside and/or Exercise
By allowing yourself time to go outside and maybe exercise, you’re not only giving your brain a study break but you’re keeping it healthy. Exercise and being outside helps you forget about your responsibilities for a little bit and can lower your stress level. Staying inside sitting down studying for too long can hinder how much information you actually take in. By taking an active study break, your brain can have some time away from new information and it will be refreshed when you start back up again.
Other Random yet Useful Tips
Chew gum while studying and then chew that same flavor of gum while you’re taking your test. While you’re studying, chewing gum helps wake you up and stay focused on what you’re doing. By chewing it during the test you are putting yourself in a “similar environment” which basically means that it helps your brain be in the same mindset you were while you were studying.
Relating to this, you should always be siting in a chair at a desk or table while studying, not laying down, because that is the environment you are going to be in while you are taking the test. Also, studying in your bed can decrease how much you actually sleep. This is because instead of associating your bed with sleeping and being relaxed, your brain is also associating it with studying which keeps your brain active. This can hinder the amount of quality sleep you actually get.
This next one seems obvious but kind of hard to actually do. Put your phone and other distracting devices in a different room, or at least out of sight. If you are studying or doing things on a computer or laptop, turn notifications on do not disturb or nighttime mode so you don’t feel compelled to check something when you get a notification from an outside distraction.