10 tips to get you ready for finals week

College students prepare for days of no sleep and endless coffee runs


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For many students, finals week means multiple cumulative tests, group projects and hours in the stacks of Ellis Library. To help you through, here are 10 tips, collected from various MU students, to help you succeed during finals week.

1. Sleep should be a top priority

During a stressful time like finals, sleep tends get pushed aside. Sleep should be a top priority. Not giving your body sufficient time to recover can make it more challenging to focus while studying or even while taking your tests. Set a time to go to bed each night (starting this week) and stick to it so you are well rested when finals roll around.

2. Sometimes it’s necessary to take a nap, and sometimes it’s necessary to drink a Red Bull and keep studying

If you aren’t getting enough sleep at night, naps can become an important part of your daily routine. With finals, you are constantly weighing the positives and negatives of taking a nap. If you’re going to take a nap, set an alarm so you don’t sleep away precious study time. Try to limit your nap to two hours or less, so you don’t have trouble sleeping at night. If you don’t have time to take a nap, drinking an espresso, a Red Bull or a caffeinated soda can give you a boost to carry you through a few more hours of studying.

3. Give yourself small rewards

Motivating yourself to study can be a real challenge. Sometimes when you have an overwhelming amount of work to do, it can be the most challenging to motivate yourself. Try setting up a little reward system for yourself to ensure you are efficiently studying. For example, for every 45 minutes of uninterrupted studying you do, allow yourself a 15-minute break to watch a few short videos on YouTube.

4. Split it up

Start studying now — don’t wait until the weekend before. Split your classes up and study a little each day. Try gradually increasing the time you spend studying each day. This will ensure that you won’t be cramming 16 weeks of information from five different classes into your brain next weekend.

5. Wash your hands and drink lots of water

This may seem straightforward, but it’s very important. Now is not the time to be sick. You want to stay healthy so that you can study and take your finals without any problems. Winter presents sicknesses like the flu, so ensure that every time you eat, you thoroughly wash your hands. Staying hydrated will also prevent illness and keep you feeling well throughout the day.

6. Work out!

Working out may seem unimportant and difficult to fit into your busy study schedule, but it helps relieve stress and clear your mind. Both are crucial when you are trying to learn and memorize so much information. During finals, take a break from the stress and studying. It doesn’t need to be for hours. Take 30 minutes to take a walk, go to a spin class or do some yoga poses.

7. Find a good environment

Find a good place to study. To different people, this means different things. Some people focus best in complete silence, while others actually enjoy a little background noise. Regardless, finding a nice place to study is crucial. You want to limit distractions and ensure that you are setting yourself up for success.

8. Figure out the best study methods for you

Just like everyone likes a different study environment, everyone likes to use different study techniques. Notecards and Quizlets are some possible study tools. Finding a study buddy or a study group can also be helpful. However, only study in groups if you know you can be productive and limit social distractions.

9. Ask questions now

Of course, you should always be asking questions, but now you want to make sure you are getting as much clarification as possible. You don’t want to be sitting at your final only to get a question over a topic that was unclear to you and think, “If only I had asked about this!” Ask questions now; don’t wait until the day before or day of. You want to make sure that your question has been thoroughly answered.

10. Believe in yourself

Your mom probably told you that she believed in you when you were little. But now you’re in college, and you have to motivate and encourage yourself. Staying positive is a cliche, but it can help. If you believe that you are prepared and that you have done everything in your power to get a good grade, your confidence will show.

Edited by Claire Colby | ccolby@themaneater.com

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