How to start preparing for finals now

With finals week being two weeks away, students might be inclined to procrastinate and leave their assignments for later. However, this approach might create some panic and stress. Here are some strategies students can use to conquer finals week.

Keep up with that syllabus

It’s easy to confuse a deadline when you’re taking several classes, especially if some of those are online. Don’t miss an online final or submission because you assume something’s due later in the week. Be informed and stay up-to-date; professors don’t always remind students when assignments are due. Looking at the class syllabus a few weeks before finals week can help you be more aware of due dates, and maybe even help motivate you to get started with preparations earlier. This technique can be extremely helpful both for on campus and online classes.

Don’t let the work pile up

Sometimes when students have a lot of projects or papers that need to be turned in at the same time, it becomes a game of quality versus quantity. This can result in rushed and flawed work and the final product might not produce that desired grade. Students can avoid this issue by breaking the project into parts and accomplishing a few each day. This can go for a paper, presentation or any other type of project that is due during finals week. This way, students will have more time for studying.  

Save your brain and avoid cramming  

Ever wonder why you blank out during a test and forget all the information you studied the night before? Life happens, but cramming is rarely successful. According to the American Psychological Association, “the problem with cramming is that it gives you a misplaced sense of confidence that you know the material. You have not taken the time to repeatedly organize the information in your memory, connect it to what you already know and pave the new mental roads.” Taking a couple of minutes a day to review class notes can not only help increase your memory for the test, but also help you retain the information after the class ends.

Schedule help ahead of time

There is nothing wrong with asking for help, especially if you have been lost on what is going on throughout the semester. NSU is equipped with services to help students prepare before taking the test. Some of these services include the Tutoring and Testing Center and the CAHSS Writing Studio. Both services offer students the chance to sit down in one-on-one sessions to better understand the material or given assignment. While these programs exist, appointments tend to fill up quickly around finals. Booking an appointment ahead of time can not only guarantee a spot, but may provide some extra help.

Generate a game plan

Sometimes the best way to tackle finals week is having a strong game plan. It takes time to get people and study guides together. Start asking people to join your study group and see if you can break parts of the study guide up. If you are looking to book a study room, you should do this ahead of time. Like tutoring appointments, these spots fill up quickly. Students should also ensure that test times don’t collide with work times to avoid double-booking yourself. Additionally, you can create study playlists, or develop a plan of action for how you want to go about projects and studying for the final test.

Take care of your body and mind

One of the most important things to remember is to take care of yourself. Finals week can be a stressful time, but you should always remember that your emotional and physical health contribute to your performance. It may even help boost those test scores. According to the Huffington Post, “students who generally got a good night’s sleep perform better on exams.” So, get adequate sleep, exercise, eat a proper diet and take some personal time to enjoy life; it’ll help prevent you from becoming sick or feeling too overwhelmed.

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