The Finals Countdown! (If You’re Studying for Them, Breathe . . .)


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It’s that time of year. If you’re one of the students under pressure to perform on finals, here are a few quick tips to calm you down a bit:

  1. Don’t multitask (for goodness’ sake). It’s amazing – the powers of applying your entire brain to the task at hand. So, don’t have your phone in sight just in case you miss a text. Hide it or switch it to airplane mode for the time being. Don’t have other windows open if you’re using a computer or tablet to study. Conjure up that (old-fashioned?) image of the solitary student bent over a book in a quiet library – that method really works. You owe it to yourself to concentrate when you’re studying for important tests.
  2. Take occasional breaks. Give yourself a short rest at least every couple hours if you’re in a marathon study session. Stretch and take brief walks in the sunshine, if possible; perhaps take a lap around the building. At the very least, physically move away from your desk for a bit.
  3. Listen to New Age music. As a student, I’ve always preferred Classical as background when getting down to business; but recently, I’ve realized New Age – the kind of soothing music one hears at a spa while getting a massage – also can be excellent music for concentration. Personally, I find it most efficient to check out CDs from the library’s New Age section. I grab what looks interesting, and later usually discover I don’t like some of the albums, but I find others excellent for calming the anxious mind.
  4. Stay grateful. Keep in mind if you’re studying for finals, you’re in a group of lucky people enjoying the opportunity to earn an education. So even if the going seems rough at times, remember you’re partaking in a precious gift.

Good luck! –And for more Finals goodies, including study tips, click “exams” on this blog’s word cloud . . .

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Score Higher on Finals

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Preparation is key

If you’re a student preparing for Final Exams, reading up on exam study tips is very smart. (If reading the tips helps you earn even a little higher grade, or puts you even a little more at ease, isn’t the reading worth your time?) A quick internet search nets a number of articles and advice, many from college and university tutoring centers; I’ve listed just a few good articles below:

 “26 Tips for Studying for Final Exams” from Public Relations Matters, a blog authored by Dr. Barbara B. Nixon:

 “10 Tips to Help You Ace Your Final Exam” from Yahoo Voices’ Amy Brantley:

“Crazy Study Tips to Help Rock Your Final Exams” from Ryerson University’s Student Life page (this post is from Danni Gresko, a student):

Related posts on this site:
Finals Fright? Ease Your Mind with Proper Prep
Just in Time for Finals: Terrific Test-Taking Tips!

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Studying for Tests: One Simple Yet Effective Method

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‘Tis the season

College teaching expert Dr. Maryellen Weimer recently posted about an intriguing technique that helps students study for tests: assigning them to write their own questions. (Although profs may or may not use those questions on the test, the exercise is a healthy one for student learning.)

So I pass this along as something you certainly may practice on your own: next time you have a test (and with end-of-semester looming, that’s likely to be soon), try it. Write your own little set of test questions, and better yet, form a study group where several of you write homemade tests on your own, and then share, taking turns answering the questions. (Do be aware the questions themselves might need clarifying and revising, as the article discusses).

In the process of writing tests for yourself, you’re forced to go back through your class notes and materials, and are likely to hit upon many of the major concepts you need to know. Then, after you’ve taken a number of college-level tests and exams, you’re likely to get better at anticipating test questions, and will find this activity even more effective.

Good luck and happy studying!

Article discussed here is “Getting Answer-Oriented Students to Focus on the Questions” (The Teaching Professor Blog at Faculty Focus), 11/14/12, by Maryellen Weimer.

Related posts on this site:

Finals Fright? Ease Your Mind with Proper Prep
Just in Time for Finals: Terrific Test-Taking Tips!
Drawing on Your Memory: A Test Prep Method

What test-review methods do you recommend?

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