By Mihika Badjate
It’s that wonderful time of year again! Time to get your textbooks, binder paper, and extra pack of pencils out, because final exams are coming up, and coming up fast. Studying for finals is never particularly exciting, but if you strategize and make it easy for yourself, you can at least stop reviewing from being flat out painful. Here are a few tips that I find really help me when the end of the school year comes around.
Make a Schedule
The number one thing I do when I decide to start studying is to look through everything I have to do, and schedule when I want to do it. Writing down a day by day breakdown of what I need to get done helps clear my mind, helps me get organized, and lessens any urge to panic. Even if my plan is really general, knowing I need to get at least “a third of Math studying done on Monday” allows me to focus.
Organize Your Materials
The second thing I always do is simply organize the millions of papers that have been floating around in various folders, binders, and drawers of my desk for the whole school year. Organizing all of these documents makes studying so much easier, because when you’re reviewing for a particular subject, everything you need is right there – no need to dig through your backpack for it! Also, looking through all your binders helps you gauge the amount of material you have to cover, so you can be extra organized when you actually start studying.
You’ve probably heard this a million times. I’ll admit that I’ve sacrificed a few hours of sleep to get through a few extra chapters several time, but I’ve come to realize that it’s a terrible idea to take a test when you can barely keep your eyes from drooping! My strategy is, that if I know I have too much work to get through in too little time, and I think I’ll have to stay up late, I will stay up late – just not the night before the test. Of course, ideally, you’ll have done all your studying weeks before, and won’t have to study the night before the final. But let’s face it: that rarely happens. So if you find you need a few extra hours of review time, stay up late a few days before your test, and make sure you get enough sleep the actual night of the exam!