Written by: Savanna Illinger
Okay guys, it’s that time again. Finals. Having just finished one of my final papers mere seconds before class, I know the struggle. Here are some really helpful tips from LOCK to help you survive this round of chaos:
- Study ahead of time and go to office hours a couple of days before the exam to review material you don’t understand!
- Study in small groups. Groups of 3 or 4 are ideal.
- Don’t procrastinate! You already put yourself at a disadvantage when you decide to start late.
- Start early! Look over all your notes and leave enough time to see the professor/TA regarding any questions you may have.
- Go through the material on your own first, and then spend some time in small study groups to reinforce the material. Meet with a few of your classmates or friends and explain concepts to each other so that you can improve your understanding in the process.
- Do practice problems to test your understanding, but don’t assume practice exams will be exactly like the actual exam.
And some of my own personal tips:
- Find a comfortable place to study, don’t just go to Mugar because it seems like where you should be. (However, I happen to study really well on the third floor of Mugar near the Pal lounge, I like a bit of background noise) So if Mugar is the place for you that’s great too! You can also try Pavement, Questrom, The Boston Public Library or even your room.
- Stay hydrated. This sounds weird I know, but it actually helps me stay awake and clear-headed. Coffee is also pretty essential, but water is an essential addition.
- TAKE BREAKS. If you’re trying to plow through all of your studying in one fell swoop you won’t absorb it all. If you’re writing without breaks, your writing may become unclear or redundant. Take small breaks every hours or so just to breathe. My roommate taught me how to knit recently, so ever hour or hour and a half I try to knit a row or two on the scarf I’m making—it’s not a very pretty scarf, but it’s a therapeutic one.
- Know who you study best with. I love studying with my roommate but we almost always end up goofing off. Actually not almost. Just always. So we’ve finally stopped trying to study together, or when we do, we make sure it’s in the silent part of the library so that there’s no chance of having any fun.
- Finally, LOCK is so right in recommending that we start early. Honestly the first step in doing that is actually paying attention in class. Even if you don’t take notes, just listening to the lecture helps absorb some of the material so that it is familiar when you go to study it. Way easier than trying to learn a whole semester’s worth of material, on your own, in one week.
So while I am a hypocrite for the most part, I have actually followed some of this advice in the past and found that it helped SO MUCH. I mean it makes sense, waiting until the last minute rarely works out for me.
I hope these tips are helpful for all of you, good luck good luck good luck. And remember to breathe!