Media by Tanner Rojewski

Friday Fives: Preparing for Finals

With finals week quickly approaching, it is important to prepare yourself mentally and physically and get ahead of the stress curve. 

1. Start Early on Reviews

Most teachers take the review packet for a grade, and those review packets are longer and more time consuming than it looks. You may be at an advantage if your teacher rounds grades, and you complete the study packet. By starting early, you are giving yourself more time to comprehend the material rather than cramming the material the night before. This method will limit your stress levels, and will allow you to have more time to ask questions if needed. Distributing learning over time typically benefits long-term retention more than a short period.

2. Take Breaks in between studying

Try studying in intervals. Studying in 20-50 minute increments with 5-10 minutes in between is more beneficial than cramming. Just 20 minutes of cardio can improve your memory. Try doing intervals of various activities: going up and down stairs, push-ups, sit-ups, squats, walking lunges and jumping jacks. 

3. Try a study group 

If you’re the typical high school student, it may be  difficult to stay motivated. Form a study group because your peers will help you stay motivated. Make a plan to review the curriculum, work together on the review material, and tackle tough questions together. According to the British Psychological Society, teaching topics can aide in your learning and comprehension, so helping your friend through a question can help you develop a better understanding of the material. Local Starbucks and Bread Co. are open until 9 p.m. and for those all nighters, Uncle Bill’s is open 24 hours. The Daniel Boone Library also offers study rooms for students.

4. Stick to healthy habits

It’s more than beneficial to try to keep good habits during this stressful time. To minimize distraction from your phone, try turning on ScreenTime on your iPhone; everytime you try to open an app after your time limit has been reached, it will give you a notice that you can’t open certain apps without a passcode. It’s certainly not foolproof if you know the passcode, but it’s a healthy reminder that some apps are a distraction, and it’s “grind time.” 

What you eat matters too. Research suggests that high-carb, high-fiber, slow-digesting foods like oatmeal are best. The blog of The State University of New York stated that when 16 college students were tested on attention and thinking speed, then fed a five-day high-fat, low-carb diet heavy on meat, eggs, cheese and cream and tested again, their performance declined.Of course healthy sleeping habits are important too.

5. Use the tools around you

There are so many resources around you to help you during finals. If you can exempt a final, do so to give yourself more time to study for more difficult classes. Quizlet is a great tool, the app/website allows you to study flashcards, play games to help you memorize words, and helps you study terms that just don’t seem to stick. Make sure to time manage. It’s a good idea to use your planner or phone calendar to block out time. Try testing yourself  through the use of flashcards, or taking practice exams was found to be a highly effective studying technique. Use a whiteboard and dry erase marker to work things out without having to worry about taking up space on paper.


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