Ah, finals. The time of sleepless nights, overdosing on coffee, and stressing about how much your GPA will drop after your grades post. Although I've been out of college for a few years, the thought of what finals did to me every year still haunts me. From giving me severe anxiety to making me actually open up a book and aggressively flip through its pages, finals are the time of the year we all seem to love to hate so much. No matter how knowledgable you are of your subjects, having tips to help you study faster for your finals is something that we all could benefit from.
During my college years, trying to balance all of my classes, on campus and community activities, and work two jobs made it difficult for me to focus on studying for tests. When finals came around, I was usually scrambling to pull off the grade that I needed in some of my difficult courses to just pass the class. While joining study groups were my saving grace in most cases, knowing a few tips to improve my study habits and how quickly I was retaining the information was a major key.
If balancing everything going on in your life with studying for finals is as difficult for you as it was for me, try implementing these nine tricks and tips to help you land the grade you need.
Of course, when it's time for finals, we love to pull all-nighters. However, according to Men's Health, getting a good night's sleep will improve your brain function and reaction time, and will help you learn much faster.
2. Set Goals
Walking into a study session with no end goal but to memorize all of your material is not a good thing. Life Hack reminds you that making good use of our time and being more productive will in turn, help us to be more successful. By setting study goals, we'll know exactly what we're looking to accomplish and work to not lose the focus.
3. Use Spaced Repetition Flashcards
According to Hack My Study, the spacing effect tells us that learning things over time is more effective then trying to cram. Spaced repetition flashcards will organize the cards for you based on your level of memorization and have a plethora of pre-made decks for pretty much every subject. Using downloadable apps such as Anki will be very helpful in getting you ready for your finals.
4. Don't 'Inter-Study'
Chegg.com cites "inter-studying" as dividing up a study session between different subjects. While this may seem like a great idea, making the shift to a new subject when it gets difficult is not always the best because you may never come back to it. Getting into the zone of that subject you're studying will be a bigger possibility if you stick to the original subject you started with for that time frame.
Just as it works out your body, Life Hack notes that getting a little exercise works out your brain. If you're feeling mentally stifled while studying, a brief 20-minute workout will help improve information processing and memory functions.
6. Associate What You're Trying To Learn With What You Already Know
The more we can mentally connect pieces of information, the better we'll be at remembering, Psychology Today said.
7. Use The Info Immediately
Psycho Tactics says that people can retain more info when they teach someone else or use it immediately. The reasoning behind this is because we're more prone to making mistakes and fixing them.
8. Read Out Loud
Business Insider says that people who read physical copies of books opposed to reading on a device are able to retain more information. It also states that reading out loud, for smaller amounts of material, will help you to remember better because it adds distinctiveness.
9. Train Your Brain
Help improve your memory or think faster by using a brain training program before you begin your studying for finals.