It’s finals week at WKU – the last week of the semester when there is a lot of excitement for the impending Christmas break, but the student stress level is so high you can feel it in the air. I remember those days – thinking that the week would never end and that the tests would be the death of me, but somehow I always made it through unscathed.
Here are a few simple tips to help students survive:
Take care of yourself. Yes, you have to spend most of your time studying, but you also have to sleep and eat. Taking care of yourself physically will make the time spent studying more effective.
Study at a steady pace rather than frantically cramming for a few hours just before a final exam. If/when you feel your mind drifting to the point that you have no idea what you just read, it’s time to put down the material, take a quick break, and refresh your brain. This is a good time for a brisk, five-minute walk.
Find your ideal study place. Maybe it’s in your room, maybe in the study room at your residence hall or maybe it’s at The Learning Center on campus (they have extended lab and tutoring hours during finals week!). The library is a great place to study, but it will probably be busier than usual, so be sure to have a backup plan. A [quiet] coffee shop may be a good choice, and the caffeine is easily accessible.
Re-write your class notes. Go old-school with the notes and actually write them with a pen on a piece of paper to help you remember the info.
Friends can help each other out. They say you know something the best when you have to teach it to someone else, so teach what you are studying to a friend or roomie (or even just pretend to), and see if that helps you understand rather than just memorize the material.
Minimize distractions. Turn the TV off, put the phone down and focus on the task at hand. You can always text your friends later to brag about how great you did on the test.
Before a test begins take a few long deep breaths and let them out slowly to help you relax and clear your head.
I’m sure there are lots of websites with other more “scientific” tips, but these are the ones that I always found helpful. Good luck to all WKU students on a successful finals week…finish strong!