Surviving final exams

by BRIANNA DELUCA Staff Writer

With summer approaching and finals week just around the corner, follow these steps to make testing a more bearable experience.

Many teenagers run into trouble when it comes to end-of-course exams because they do not remember what they learned at the beginning of the year.

According to an experiment conducted at the University of Waterloo, students forgot 50 to 80 percent of what they learned after two days without reviewing. After one month, they forgot over 90 percent of the original material. These alarming statistics stress the importance of refreshing your memory before finals week.

Studying is a key component to scoring high, but proper sleep is also very imperative. Sacrificing rest for extra study time can actually be counterproductive. While it is not recommended that students stop studying, recognize that an adequate amount of sleep is needed for a good academic performance.

“Cramming tended to be followed by days with more academic problems,” said graduate student Cari Gillen-O’Neel after observing test-takers at UCLA during finals week.

To avoid panicking the night before taking a final, create a study schedule. Find out when each test is and focus on the ones that are first. Most teachers recommend starting to studying about a week in advance for each test. Time proves to be an issue for many teenagers, but open up those textbooks sooner rather than later.

Prioritizing the exams that matter the most, which is dependent on the student, can also help. For example, if you have a lower grade in Algebra than you do in History, you should probably spend more time reviewing your formulas.

The next tip to surviving final exams is to determine what information will be on each test. Most teachers distribute some sort of study guide or outline, so use them to your advantage.

Freshman Blaise Dipierro said, “My history teacher gave us an 18-page study guide for the final. I plan to finish this over the weekend so I’m ready.”

Even if your teacher does not provide a study guide, you can always create your own. If you kept old notes from the beginning of the school year, it will be easy to look back.

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of studying for finals is using methods that work for you as an individual. There are many aids out there, but you need to determine which ones are helpful.

Flashcards are commonly used for studying because they come in fun colors and allow for easy learning. Whether you test yourself or have a family member do it, these study tools help students quickly remember small bits of information.

If making index cards is not practical for you, there are plenty of other ways to get the job done. Creating memorable visuals like flow charts or mind maps can help visual learners recall specific pieces of information.

Freshman Paula Beer said, “Rewriting my notes in different colored inks always helps me study better.”

While studying for finals, taking snack breaks often will give your brain a rest and actually improve concentration. Refuel your body with healthy snacks like fruit, peanut butter, and granola.

As mentioned before, sleep plays a crucial role in studying. It might be tempting to stay up late and review a few more subjects, but resting for extra hours the night before an exam will pay off.

In addition to sleep, it is smart to eat a big breakfast the morning of a final. Avoiding it altogether will deprive your body of energy. It is more difficult to focus on work with a grumbling stomach.

Preparing thoroughly for exams will definitely make testing week easier to conquer. Find what works for you because there are plenty of ways to enhance studying.

What study methods will you use for finals?

#BriannaDeLuca #finalexams #studytips

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