It comes twice a year – once in December and once in May. Finals week. You can’t schedule major dental work or surgery this week, although you might prefer it to the agony that is about to hit. And you are probably tired of all of the “helpful advice” that well-meaning, so-called experts give about getting through this week without going crazy. So, we’ll dispense with that pretty quickly in the first part of this article, and then we’ll get on to some more meaningful advice.
The Typical Advice
It’s hard to know exactly what this means, but probably you should eat well-balanced meals that provide the best nutrients to your body. This means lots of fruits and vegetables and less sugar. This is good advice throughout the year, obviously, but many say that stuffing junk food can lower concentration and focus.
2.Get Some Exercise
Again, this is touted as a means of taking a healthy break from studying and clearing your mind so that you can focus. And there is certainly good evidence that shows how physical exercise can relieve stress. So, if you are really stressed, just do it – maybe 15 minutes or so.
3.Get Sleep the Night Before
Sleep needs are personal. And each person knows how much sleep s/he needs to function well the next day. Research does show that good sleep is essential for physical and mental health. A good sleep before a final can certainly mean that you are more mentally alert. If you know you need 6-7 hours to function, then, by all means, get those hours in.
4.Start Plenty in Advance
This is probably pretty good advice. Not that you are going to do heavy memorization two weeks in advance of a final, but getting all of your notes organized and ready to hit the heavy studying is a good thing to do. Then when you are in the 24-hour period before an exam, it is only a matter of review and memorization – it will go faster if you do this.
5.Find the Right Environment
If you know you are distracted by that game console, social media, or TV, get them out of your dorm or apartment. Go to the place where you can concentrate better – the library is an option, of course, but there may also be a coffee shop open late or a classroom building with an empty lounge area. You will also be less tempted to give in when someone suggests going out for a beer.
Now Some Realistic Suggestion Additions
6.Get Other Coursework Off Your Plate
It’s a good idea to complete your semester’s other assignments out of the way two weeks before finals week, if possible. Some long-term assignments, like essays and papers, are often those things that you leave to the end. Trying to get those done and get notes organized for a study is a “no-win” situation. If you have left things to the end, better to get some homework help online from a SupremeDissertation rather than sacrifice valuable study time.
Yes, they do happen. While other “experts” say get a good night’s sleep, that is not always possible and you know it. If you have two finals on a day, you are probably going to pull an all-nighter. Once you do that and get through those exams, make sure you take a good long nap before you go at it again.
8.Food, Glorious Food
There’s just something about your favorite foods that make you feel better. If that is pizza, chips, and dip, or other not-so-healthy items, go ahead and indulge yourself. Study for finals is bad enough without reducing your food intake to fruits, vegetables, and nuts. If you have to stay up late, eat carbs. And eat sugar or carbs before your exam. You’ll have a bit of a crash afterward, but you’re going to take a nap anyway.
Over the long term, regular consumption of energy drinks is probably not a good idea. But, during finals week? Of course, they are. One week of consumption will not permanently affect you for life. So, if they help, consume them. There are other caffeine options too. If they help, good.
10.Take Breaks with Friends
Being able to “share the pain” with others does help. So, schedule some short amount of time each day or night to get together, even to order a pizza or a short round of gaming. If you and your friends are “physical,” get outside or to the gym together. Taking a break all by yourself isn’t much fun – just be careful to set a time limit.
Sometimes this works. If you are both facing the same exam, get together and quiz each other. Your partner may have notes that you have missed and vice versa. Here is something that students often don’t know – when you “teach” something to someone else, you learn it better.
12.Talk to Yourself
One of the other things a lot of students don’t know is that the more senses you involve in your studying, the more you remember what you study. You are obviously reading your notes as you study. If you also speak out loud to yourself, your hearing is involved. It helps. So, if you can find a place where you can talk, try it.
So, here’s a list of 12 things. Some may work for you; some may not. The important thing is that many of them can reduce your anxiety, and that’s important. Try them out, figure out what works for you, and take heart that finals week only comes twice a year.