As finals week approaches it seems students lose all perspective and go into panic or survival mode.
The pressures of the week plague student minds. How much time should you dedicate to each final? What is the best way to prepare?
According to the Dartmouth Skills Center students should study in 20 to 50 minute increments and give themselves 5 to 10 minute breaks between each session. For the best results possible, study time should be spread out over one full week.
The New York Times explained that rather than sticking to one study spot, students should give themselves a change of scenery when reviewing for exams.
Leigh Johnson, assistant professor in the College of Business said it is more practical to look at the exams students will have last and make sure they consistently study for them, because by the time they take those exams it is more difficult to focus and study.
“A common mistake that students make is cramming,” Johnson said. “There are just too many tests during finals week”.
Johnson said students should spend adequate time preparing throughout the semester, this way it is a true review and it isn’t a ton of new material.
“A final should be a true test of what you have already learned,” she said.
According to The Huffington Post, certain music, like Mozart’s compositions, which follow a 60 beats per minute pattern, have been shown to activate both sides of the brain. Stimulation of both sides has been linked with increased recall. This means listening while studying can help increase the likelihood that studiers will retain the relevant information.
Another study tip from this source, study in groups. Explaining difficult concepts out loud will help students figure out what they understand and what they still need to allocate further attention. The group motivation to persevere is an added bonus.
Studying for finals is a process that is unique to each individual. Each student has his or her own preparation technique which helps them make it through the week.
“The only way I can eliminate stress during finals week is to be 100 percent prepared and that means studying every minute I can up until every test,” Sydney Robison White, senior from Henderson, Ky., said.
According to The Huffington Post, The best thing to remember is to take one test at a time and study the material in a sequential and productive manner. Students should start with studying the information and material they know and add more difficult or recent material as they proceed and tie it all together in the end.
This technique’s success may be boosted by just 20 minutes of cardio a day. This amount of cardio can help improve a student’s memory and retention rate.
Mike Quirk, senior from Louisville, Ky., Said: “Got to knock them out one by one, finals week isn’t as bad if you break it down and don’t take it on as a whole.”