10 Tips for Acing Your Finals
As the end of the school year approaches, so do final exams. Since finals make up such a large portion of your overall averages, a little extra work can make an enormous difference in your grades. Follow these ten tips so that you head into finals week well prepared to ace your exams.
Create the right study environment. Set up a spot that is comfortable and quiet, where you won’t be distracted or interrupted. If you can’t achieve this at home, go to the library or another favorite spot.
Be prepared. Don’t even start a study session until you have gathered everything you need. Each time you get up to find something, you risk getting distracted. This step is particularly important if you’re packing your backpack before heading to the library.
Pack a healthy snack. While you’re prepping for study time, include a healthy snack that pairs complex carbs with protein.
Grab a pack of flash cards. Using your notes, make yourself some question-and-answer flash cards. The act of making them will actually help you commit facts to memory, and then of course you can use the cards to quiz yourself.
Focus on the important points. There’s no way you can memorize everything your teacher ever said during class. Try to look through your notes and textbook, and narrow each topic to the most important points. If you aren’t sure what those are, ask your teacher or check the study guide.
Move from basic to most complex. As we said, most of your study time should be spent learning the most important points of each topic. But once you’ve mastered those, you can focus a bit more on finer details. The point is to commit the majority of your time to the questions that are most likely to make up the bulk of the test.
Study alone. Group study seems like a good idea, but these sessions tend to morph into chat time.
Take breaks. Take a fifteen minute break after each hour of study time. Set an alarm that reminds you to pause, and set the snooze to fifteen minutes. That way you won’t get distracted during break time.
Don’t pull an all-nighter. You’re better off with less study time, and more sleep. Those who attempt to ace a test on zero sleep are not often successful.
Talk to your teacher. Don’t wait until the night before the test. Raise your hand during class, ask questions, and participate in discussions. Most importantly, talk to your teacher in person, or send them an email, if you’re not clear on a topic discussed in class.