Telling The Real Stories

College Tips: how to make it through finals week

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Finals are approaching and students are in the mood to get ready for the last exam that would determine their grades for the semester. Finals are important as they are the exams that can make a difference in being on the dean’s list or not being there.

My first final exams were terrifying because of how scared I was. I was so worried that I would fail and it was over for me. I was sure that my finals would end badly and that it was going to define me forever. Years later, I would say I have come a long way and I am no longer as worried as I used to be about final exams. I still get nervous but not to the extent that I would risk my health. I remember not sleeping well and even sometimes sleeping for just one hour during finals.

Study tips and techniques for success

EAT WELL: Nutrition and nourishment are very important during exams. Food helps the brain and body function. Finals are when food is most neglected because people are too busy studying and don’t give themselves much time for eating balanced diets. It is important to take care of yourself and eat well during this time.

SLEEP WELL: Most college students lack sleep during finals because they tend to stay up late or pulling all-nighters. Varied from person to person, sleeping for eight to nine hours can be beneficial in terms of health and to feel relaxed enough to have the energy that is needed for exams at the end of the semester.

NOTE TAKING: There are many ways to take notes in classes. There are various note taking systems like The Cornell Method, The Outlining Method, The Mapping Method, The Charting Method and The Sentence Method. I think it’s easiest to write down as much as you can while the professor is talking, and then rewrite the notes later in your own words to make it easier to understand.

EXERCISE: Just taking a walk helps and maybe some early morning jogging too. Yoga and meditation can be especially helpful during finals.

SIT IN FRONT: Try to sit in front and participate in class. Ask the professor questions and engage in the lectures.

USE FLASH CARDS: Using flash cards will help you remember the words and concepts that are very important to the exam. Color code the notes and make sure that the concepts that are hard to remember are in a color.

For example, red could show that the concepts are hard to grasp. The concepts that are easy can be colored as blue. Take more time to study the harder concepts and also ask the professor to explain whatever you do not understand. Then, create a study guide that is easy to understand, even if your professor provides a study guide.

REVISE FORMER EXAMS: Always go to the final class because that is where the professors give last information that would make a big difference in the final exams. Review sessions offer the most important information on the final exams and key concepts you should be focusing your studies on. Also review the former exams as some of the questions could appear on the final exams. Even if they do not appear, it is very important to read the past questions and use that for the finals.

KNOW YOUR LEARNING METHODS: Know if you are a visual learner, auditory learner or even a kinesthetic learner. Knowing what your learning style is will help you. If you are visual, try using visuals to study. If you are auditor,  listen to CD’s or listen to recorded lectures. If you are a kinesthetic learner then use hands-on methods to practice the things that the professor explained.

ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS: When studying for finals, eliminate any distractions, like social media. I am an addict of YouTube videos and I am a big fan of social media, but I will definitely remove those distractions during final exams. It does not mean removing music and what you like to do for relaxation but removing anything that would take away your time during exams.

FOCUS: Study guides are good but if some parts are too hard to grasp on your own, it is good to ask classmates to help form study groups.

Balance is important. Focus on what is important to you and the subjects that are the most relevant to your college career. Stay positive even if things are hard. It always gets better. Celebrate that finals will soon be over and get some rest.

MAKE IT FUN: College is hard, but it is important to try to make it fun. Make it interesting and laugh at your mistakes, and do what you can to correct them.

Life is not about getting good grades, it is about learning from our mistakes and being better.

Oluwatobi is a college student trying to make things work. She loves writing and listening to music. You can always see her with a pen trying to jot down notes. Oluwatobi loves to learn and meet new people.

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