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As the school year comes to an end, there’s a lot of excitement surrounding the start of summer vacation. However, before you can take a break from school, you have to take your finals.
Finals can be super overwhelming, so I have some tips for you to keep your cool during a stressful time of year!
Here are ten tips for studying for finals!
- Remember to start as early as possible! Preparing earlier will help you feel less stressed when the date of finals gets closer. Try to think about what you’ve learned this term/year and start by making a list of things you should review!
- Group study! Especially for big tests like finals, it can be hard to motivate yourself to get out of a slump and go study. Make a team of your friends and people in your classes, and study somewhere where you’ll be productive like the library. Make sure that everyone is there to be productive and be prepared.
- Remember to take breaks. This might sound counterproductive to your end goal, but the truth is that cramming without any breaks will drain you of all your energy and won’t help you get a better grade. Apps like Forest for Google Chrome start a timer of anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, and let you block sites that aren’t educational. If you stay on top of it and don’t use any sites that you’re not supposed to be on, you grow a small tree. If you don’t stay on topic, your tree “dies” and you have to start over again. This app is great for staying on track when you need to, but also taking a break when you need to!
- Make it as fun (as possible)! Studying isn’t the most fun thing to do, but try to insert things that make it easier for you to stay on track! Some examples are taking notes with colorful pens and highlighters, making a snack to eat while you study, or studying with friends (as mentioned in tip #2). Having something that makes studying a little better will make you more productive. Personally, I always love to take my notes with a pink pen and highlighter, as seeing the bright colors puts me in a better mood.
- Listen to music that keeps you on track, not off track. You might be tempted to listen to your favorite pop songs while you work, but often times, your mind shifts from the things you need to study to the lyrics of your favorite song. A way to fix this is to listen to instrumental covers of the songs! They feature the same tune as your favorite song, minus the lyrics that make you distracted. Instrumental Pop Covers is a playlist on Spotify that has 273 pop song covers!
- If you still find yourself lip syncing your favorite songs, use your lyrical talents and put your study tips to music! Most teens remember the lyrics of their favorite songs better than the topics on their last test. A lot of processes like photosynthesis and the periodic table already have songs on YouTube, but making your own is both fun and helps you memorize things easily!
- Get rid of distractions. Before studying, clear your desk space of all things that might distract you. (Yes, this includes your phone!) Clear any tabs on your computer that you don’t need, clear your desk of old work and materials you don’t need, and clear your mind of distractions. Study smarter, not harder!
- Before taking the test, a good way to see if you’re 100% prepared or not is to try to explain the topics on the test to someone. If you know the material well, you’ll be able to explain how the topic works to someone else. This is a great strategy because you don’t need a teacher or a genius next to you. You can practice this on anyone, ranging from your parents to your pet!
- Switch it up! If you feel frustrated on math, for example and don’t feel productive, switch to studying to reading. When you’re frustrated, you might be tempted to just quit and watch T.V. or scroll through Instagram. Instead of wasting that negative energy doing something not productive, switch to a different subject that you need to study, and turn that negative energy to positive energy that will help you study!
- Learn how you study best, not someone else. These tips can be useful, but some might need some fixing to work for you, and that’s okay! Your brain is wired differently from your teacher or your best friend, so don’t think that everything that works for them is going to work perfectly for you. If you’re a visual person, turn your notes into a diagram! If you learn from hearing, read your textbook out loud. Studying can be hard, but if you adapt it for the way you learn, it can be so much easier!
Lastly, remember that grades aren’t everything. Everyone has bad days, and it’s perfectly okay to fail a test or two. Just remember that you are confident, smart, amazing, and unique no matter what you get on a test. You are more than just a grade!
Comment down below which tip worked best for you! Good luck on your tests, exams, and finals!
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Feature Image Credit: Lacie Slezak