Finals week can be a stressful time for any student but with successful study strategies and preparation techniques, you can take on any final exam with confidence! Here are seven final exam success tips to utilize during finals week:
1. Create a Study Schedule
Before tackling your study materials, it’s best to take a deep breath and consider which courses might need the most study time and which courses you have more confidence with in regards to the content. Then, decide the following: what subject do you want to study first, how long will you need to study for that subject, and what study materials are most relevant to the exam for that course. Once you determine the above, create a tangible Monday through Sunday, 24-hour schedule, and block-off your study times.
2. Study with a Positive Attitude and Clear Direction
To make the most of your studying time, it is vital that you view final exams and how you prepare for the exams in a positive way: with a clear mind and a confident attitude. For example, instead of viewing final exams and studying as tedious, change your attitude from “This is so boring!” to “I know my stuff!” Also, use your time and energy spent studying by actively trying to understand the materials (not just memorizing) for the course. Highlight key points in your textbook and notes, annotate any resources that can help you learn the material, etc. Memorization is sometimes needed, but ensuring that you fully comprehend the material is a solid success strategy.
3. Utilize the Resources Available to You
If you are struggling in a course, reach out to your professor: ask questions and ask for help. Your professor can also give you an idea as to what materials will be most important for you to focus on during your study time.
You can also create study groups with your fellow classmates to learn the material together. Study groups are a great way to work through course materials and prepare for the final exam.
Most importantly, your campus has many resources available to help you succeed during finals week. You also have access to the Baker College Library, and the Baker College Tutoring Services Portal, which has consultants and professional tutors in various subject areas, including, writing, math, nursing, business, and more!
**Important Note: Do not wait until the end of a course to reach out to our Tutoring Services. If you are struggling in a class, we have consultants and professional tutors who are available to you all semester and in various modes: virtual (online) and on-ground (at a specific, Baker-campus location). To locate the Tutoring Services portal, click on "Tutoring Services" on the homepage of your Canvas course.**
4. Explain What You Are Studying to Another Person
When you teach what you are currently learning and studying to someone else, you get to practice what you are learning, reinforce what you already know, and you can figure out how well you are understanding the material. For example, if you successfully attempt to explain the content that you are learning and studying to your significant other, best friend, or family member, you are on your way to fully understanding the material! Teaching is the best learning technique!
5. Avoid Distractions
We all know how easy it is to get 'lost' in our phones as we check out the daily happenings on our Baker College Facebook page, keep up-to-date on the latest stories on Snapchat, peruse pictures on Instagram, or share thoughts on Twitter; however, these sites are distracting! To make the most of your study time, avoid distractions: shut off your phone (unless you need it to study!).
6. Prepare, Prepare, and Prepare Some More
“Preparing” is two-fold. First, you do not want to wait until the night before the exam to start studying. Try to study in one-hour blocks, or 20-minute sessions each day. Cramming it all in the night before is not as effective as comprehending the material fully before the exam. This is why success strategy #1 is so important: a study schedule will help you get prepared. Moreover, this is also why success strategy #5 is important to note, as distractions prevent us from fully focusing on our study time.
Second, make sure to have everything ready the day/night before the exam. If you are an online student, this means ensuring that you know how to access the exam before the due date, have the necessary materials accessible, and are ready to successfully tackle the exam in the allotted time-frame. If you are an on-ground student, this means ensuring that you have all necessary materials ready: paper, pencil, notes (if applicable), calculator (if applicable), etc. Having everything ‘ready to go’ the day/night before will give you a sense of control and a strong preparedness. It will also help you relax and get a good night's sleep the night before your exam.
7. Take Care of You, Too!
Final exams and everyday happenings can be stressful; so, it is important that you keep taking care of you, and your mental and physical health. Get plenty of sleep (not just the day before the exam), take study breaks, and remember to still have some “me” time.
The above are just a few success strategies and preparation tips to help you successfully conquer those final exams. Studying, and preparing for, final exams can feel overwhelming; however, remember that you have worked hard all semester, and you are ready to successfully tackle them! Stay positive, stay focused, and stay BakerProud!