Finals week is fast approaching and for many college students, that means stress levels are rising and panic is setting in.
While stress and panic can be healthy for the human body in small doses and in certain circumstances, it can be counterproductive when it comes to studying.
Everybody has a different studying style, but most college students probably don’t study very effectively when all they can think about is the stress of striving to succeed in finals.
After doing some research, I have compiled a short list of tips for squelching those pre-finals jitters.
1. Create a study schedule and stick to it.
Make sure you know when and where each of your finals is taking place, and then plan your schedule accordingly. Estimate roughly how long you believe each task you have to complete will take, and then plan when in your day you will be able to sit down and get after it.
2. Focus on small goals.
Aim to accomplish them one at a time so as to not overwhelm yourself and divide up your work load in order to make your assignments more manageable and less intimidating.
3. Form or join a study group.
Depending on whether you study more efficiently with others or on your own, a study group can be a good environment to bounce ideas off of each other, and working with others could help you retain more when test day comes around.
4. Above all, make a conscious effort to carve out time in your presumably busy schedule to reflect and relax.
It is essential to get enough sleep before your finals (try to avoid an all-nighter situation).
Research has concluded that getting at least five hours of sleep the night before an exam can optimize retention of what you learned during the day.
Getting a sufficient amount of sleep before your final has also been proven to help with energy levels and mental alertness (although some college students might consider coffee to be an excellent replacement for sleep).
If all else fails, harness the power of the mind and mentally picture yourself succeeding in all of your finals.
It also couldn’t hurt to get motivated by reminding yourself that finals will be over before you know it, so work hard now and the reward will be winter break.
Good luck everybody, and remember, never underestimate the power of having a positive mental attitude.