Finals season is almost upon us, as are Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and other holidays or celebrations. In the midst of all the preparations, remember that you can only study so much, so don’t be afraid to take some time for yourself during the upcoming busy season!
Start studying early, and you will save yourself a lot of time this year. To help you, I’ve thought of or found some interesting, fun, and hopefully helpful ways that you can prepare for finals!
One: All About Health
I put this first, and not and form of studying or ways to study, because health should come first among all of the craziness of prepping for finals. Mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health are all included!
Getting some exercise, drinking water, and monitoring how much you indulge in around the holidays can all help you feel better, which is a good first step toward prepping for finals.
Don’t forget to get more than a couple hours of sleep each night.
Tip: If I don’t know it by midnight, I call it quits.
Two: Break Out The Colors (Literally!)
Have you always color coded your notes and notebooks? I haven’t, but I am envious of those who do! If you want to incorporate some color into your studying, try:
- Writing on flashcards with different colored markers or pens.
- Using multicolored flashcards.
- Highlighting key terms and definitions in different colors.
- Make a study sheet for each class in a different color (using pens, highlighters, pencils, etc.).
- Using different colored folders to store your notes for classes.
- Different colored Post-it notes for a study schedule.
- If you’re using a whiteboard to help you study, different colored Expo markers!
Three: Studying Alone, With Friends, or Both
There are times that you need to study with other people, like when you’re prepping for a calculus final and you don’t understand how to finish the problem in front of you.
There are also times when studying alone in an undisturbed place will do the trick, like when you’re trying to imprint Spanish vocabulary into your memory. So, here are a few ideas on how to study, either alone or with others:
- Video chatting for a review session.
- Kahoot - You could either do this with friends who are studying different subjects, or people from your class you can contact.
- Move from one spot in your room to another room, like from your desk to your kitchen table, to help yourself shift gears when it’s time to study other subjects.
- Timers, with set rewards or breaks when you study for a chunk of time (Like the Podmoro Technique, or modified for a certain ratio of Study to Break)!
- Using family members or roommates to quiz you off of a vocab sheet or other study aid.
- Using a board game as a review session. Every turn, quiz on vocab or a practice question, then take the turn!
- Play a memory game with flashcards! Set them out into rows and columns, and have fun flipping two at a time until you match a term and definition, or a question and answer. You can use one side for one set, and another for a second set! Just make sure to differentiate the sides, and you’re good to go! You can find more fun ideas like this one at Bright Hub Education .
- Quizlet session. Whether you’re in contact with others or not, online flashcards are very useful if you run out of physical ones, prefer digital studying, or need pictures to go along with what you’re learning
Other Neat Ways to Study
Now, I might have given you great ideas in the other two sections, but I think I’ve got a few more up my sleeve to share with you, if none of those mentioned above have inspired you!
- Make a study guide for the material but create it as if it’s for someone else in your class, or for a friend. What and how much would they need to know to succeed on the final?
- Find a review guide or a past test online or ask your teacher for help if you haven’t found one.
- Use a calendar and break up what you need to study into little chunks, studying a little bit each day with a few days before finals as a catch all review. But, don’t forget to have a break, too!
- If you have siblings who are also in school, see if you can study together if you are about the same age. You can quiz each other, or just give each other encouragement by being in the same room
- Reward systems are a tricky but very useful game. I, myself, have around an 80% success rate with them! I usually have a cup of tea or I give myself a few minutes to watch something as a reward, but feel free to make this whatever you want.
Study for two hours, then take a half hour nap, or take a walk outside or through the rooms of your home after reading your textbook for twenty minutes.
Scroll Instagram, or Snapchat your friends back after studying your review guide twice — the possibilities are endless!
- YouTube or Khan Academy are great resources for videos. It especially helps if you write down one or two important things from each video that you watch to help you review to engage your memory as you watch.
- Use music other than your native language to study in. Classical can be very easy to tune out while working, but if that puts you to sleep try some LoFi study beats or soundtrack scores.
- Make notes sheets for every chapter. If I would have thought of this before, I would have done this for Spanish the past two semesters!
- If you’re prepping for a written final, take anything you know and gather it in one place.
- A blank document, write everything on a sheet of paper, etc.
Take that and try to deconstruct it. Your teacher said you would have 50 minutes to write four pages? That means ten minutes a page with ten to proofread and fix your logic.
This may feel like a lot , but hopefully somewhere in these tips you can find some fun and useful tips for preparing for finals! I know I’m going to take my own advice and plan out my studying with a calendar - How about you?