college exams

College finals can be a daunting time for any student, and as many as 90% of college students report feeling stressed during their college careers, most often during final exams. During the weeks leading up to finals, many college students start their “cram” sessions, voraciously studying and reviewing their class materials to perform their best on their final exams. If you are dreading finals week, review the following tips to make your study sessions more productive and approach your exams with greater confidence.

Create Your Own Study Guides

Some professors may offer study guides or material outlines to help you prepare for your finals, but this isn’t a guarantee. Regardless of whether your professors offer study guides before finals, making your own is a great way to prepare. Writing down information is one of the best ways to remember it, so going back through your notes and other tests from a class and developing your own study guide is a great way to prepare for a final. Look at your notes, quiz scores, and previous tests in a class to determine the areas you struggled the most and develop a comprehensive study guide that focuses on these areas and the other critical information from the course.

Arrange Group Study Sessions

It’s easy to develop tunnel vision when you spend too much time on a specific task. Another pair of eyes looking over your work can help you see a problem in a new light. See if any of your classmates are interested in group study sessions. If you have several weeks before your final exam, try to arrange one or two sessions per week until the final exam. Create a plan for what material your group will cover during each session so you can help one another prepare.

Prioritize Your Time

If you excel in one class but struggle with another, and you need to pass both finals with flying colors, budget your time according to your strengths. Perhaps the material for class in which you excel only requires a careful review once or twice in the week leading up to the final, whereas the class in which you struggle demands more of your time and attention. Plan in advance and try to devote the appropriate amount of time to each class accordingly.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Your professor may not be entirely forthcoming about all the material included in your final exam, but this doesn’t necessarily mean the professor won’t answer your questions. If you are unsure about what type of material your exam will cover, ask! Most professors are more than willing to help their students prepare for their finals and want to see them succeed.

Don’t Burn Yourself Out

The pressure of impending finals can be incredibly challenging, and it’s important to maintain a self-care regimen during the weeks leading up to your finals. Take frequent breaks during your study sessions, and don’t be afraid to take a day off from intense studying to blow off steam. Frequent breaks will help you retain information more easily; your studying won’t be effective if you’re burnt out and exhausted.

Finals can be a stressful time for any college student, but these tips can hopefully make the studying process easier and possibly even more enjoyable. Develop a strong study plan for your final exams and take care of yourself so you’re in top condition for these important tests.

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