Lifehacks, Productivity, Tips

How To Gear Up For Finals

Everyone is excited for the adventurous plans they have during the school break, but getting there is the tough part. Because even with a million plans rolling around in your mind, you still have to make it through the increasingly busy and intense weeks of the end of the term. And if you’re too stuck on your freedom, you may not make it out in one piece like you were hoping.

So for those looking for help to stay focused and do well during finals so they can enjoy their holidays in peace, here are six things to guide you toward victory.

Plan Ahead

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Planning ahead doesn’t sound like the most fun activity. In fact, dwelling on the rigors of your study schedules seems like the last way to get pumped for finals, but the truth of the matter is that focused planning now will mean freedom from distraction in the throws of tests and projects.

Get an idea early on of how much time you will need to spend on each final, and if your professor hasn’t yet told you, find out the day you’re planning for. Factor in necessary things like your work schedule, then map out a plan where you can worry about one project at a time. You can forget about the rest for the moment because you’ll know you already have time set aside.

Study Snacks

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Don’t get me wrong, we all love our study snacks, but it’s time to take a different approach to them. Balance out your junk food like cookies and chocolate with healthy brain food. We’re talking vegetables, fruit, and lots of water.

Do your best to spread them out, too. It’s easy to let something like a difficult equation get pushed aside for the comfort of a non-judgmental bite, but if you continue to study that way, you’ll find all your snacks gone with all the studying still left to do. So don’t bring it all to your desk, and try to space them out every few hours. Don’t forget to factor in meals, too!

Taking Breaks

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Do you ever feel like there just isn’t enough time to do as much as you need to so you’ll feel prepared? Long study sessions can take a toll on the quality of your work and how much information your brain actually retains for that big exam day, which is why taking breaks is so important.

You may feel like you don’t have the time for a break, but a fifteen-to-thirty-minute break can help boost your level of alertness, making you feel brighter and more creative than before. During breaks, give your eyes a breather by avoiding books and screens. Those eye muscles need to stretch as well, so go somewhere that you can look about thirty feet away from yourself.

And what about those cramped muscles from sitting hunched over in the same position for so long? Choose to stretch them out rather than lounge around on your break. Whether you like to walk, run, hit the gym, or play a sport, you’ll return to your studies invigorated.

Encouragement and Handling Stress

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It can be tough facing the intensity of final exams. They, after all, play a big part in how you move forward into future years of education and the career you’ve got your eye on. People have a tendency to get hung up on how things look in the moment, and that includes comparing their struggles with the hard work and success of their classmates and roommates.

As part of your plan, team up with some of your trusted allies to get and give encouragement when things seem dire. You might be surprised what good it can do to talk out an issue, tell a joke, or just have someone remind you that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get 100%. Sure, you want to do well, but if you don’t, you can regroup, make a new plan, and even try again.

Your general environment can take a big strain off your shoulders as well, so if you don’t live in the most positive complex, visit your buddies and make use of their common area and study rooms like those the has provided for their residents.

Getting Help When You Need it

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With finals, there is a lot of information that can go over your head even when you have been studying every spare moment that you have. If you feel like you’re floundering despite your best efforts, remember that there are more resources out there than your brain and your textbook.

Seek out a tutor who has been through the course before. Higher level students will often charge only a modest fee to fill your head with all their tips and tricks for remembering formulas. Many campuses will also offer tutoring services and study helps for free. It can also help to go to the professor.

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If many students are having the same issues, it’s important to make the professor aware; otherwise, they won’t be able to address them before the big day. You may be able to get an extension, access to different materials that are easier to understand, or better explanations offered during regular class time.

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