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11 Study Tips for Final Exams

written by: Stephanie Torreno • edited by: Kellie Hayden • updated: 1/22/2014

It's the end of the year and you're looking forward to summer, but first comes the final exams! Don't get too overwhelmed or stressed. Follow these study tips and end the year on a high note - with a high grade!

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    The End of Another Year

    Study Tips for Final Exams The end of the year always seems to creep up on you. Your teachers may have mentioned something about a comprehensive final exam, but that was a few months ago. You did not have to worry about it then. Now, as classes wind down and the exam approaches, worry begins to take over you. Stressing is not conducive to effective studying. By following these eleven study tips, you can control your stress and study effectively.

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    Study Tips for Final Exams

    1. How Much is it Worth? Be aware of how final tests count toward your final grade. Since the exam is probably worth only a percent of the course grade, your exam grade may not affect your final grade too much unless you do exceptionally well or poorly than you did on other exams and assignments. Still, you should try to do as well as possible on the exam, especially if it is a significant percentage of final average.

    2. Begin Studying Early: You should begin studying a week to ten days before an exam, particularly if you have several exams to take. Cramming is an ineffective way to prepare for finals.

    3. Create a Learning Environment: This environment should be comfortable, but not too relaxing, be free of distractions, and be well-lit. You should also have enough room to spread out your texts and notes.

    4. Study in Chunks: Your studying will be more effective if you concentrate for a period of time, and then take short breaks. Do not stop enjoying your favorite activities, but do so in proportion to studying.

    5. Work When you Concentrate the Best: If you are a morning person, do your most difficult studying before noon. If you work well at night, stick to that schedule.

    6. Rewrite your Notes: Delete any extraneous information that does not support the critical material. Form outlines of each chapter or unit and try to process course content as a whole.

    7. Take Advantage of Every Moment: Use breaks in your exam schedule, if you have them, to study for upcoming exams. Catch up on missed reading, or work a few math problems. Remember, use your time wisely.

    8. Study Graded Tests: Since you were tested on the material previously, you should probably expect it on the final. Concentrate on missed questions, and make sure you know and understand the correct answer.

    9. Know What Works for You: Study according to your learning style. If you are a visual learner, prepare charts, diagrams, or outlines of the material. If you are an auditory learner, listen to taped lectures and group discussions.

    10. Form a Study Group... Carefully: Invite some conscientious students, not friends for socializing, to study with you. Compare notes, quiz each other, and help everyone stay on task.

    11. Rest Up: It may seem counter-intuitive, but do not stay up late the night before an exam cramming! One of the best things you can do the night before an exam is to get a full eight hours of sleep. Adequate sleep will improve your concentration and memory, and boost your critical thinking skills. A good night’s sleep will let you give your best performance on this important test.

    Do you have additional tips you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments.

References

  • Ten tips for surviving finals week. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2010, from www.vpul.upenn.edu/ohe/library/mental/finals.htm