In just two weeks, college students will begin to prepare for and take their final exams for the semester. In previous years, it wasn’t uncommon to see a packed library of anxious test takers and study groups working through sixteen weeks of material in one night. However, now more than ever it seems that studying alone is the best course of action regarding on-campus learning. With that being said, setting up a place for you alone to study effectively and efficiently will be crucial to your success during finals week.

Stay Away from Distractions

It’s important to keep your mind on the topic at hand. Picture courtesy

It seems like an obvious inclusion, but getting rid of any distractions in your study space is essential to getting the most from your notes. We as students know this, yet still choose to spend time on our phones or other technology to get away from our stressful exams. Simply muting your phone and putting it in a drawer or unplugging your game console may prove to be highly effective in keeping focused on your grades.

Get the Right Tools for the Job

Materials like highlighters and post-it notes can go a long way! Photo courtesy

Wherever your designated study space may be, having easy access to learning materials is a must. Notecards and a write-on calendar can both aid in remembering terms and due dates, and even desk toys like a Rubik’s cube can give your hands something to do if you’re feeling fidgety. There are many other things that could come in handy during a study session and make the night before your test a little bit less stressful.

Keep an Active Mind When Studying

Spreading your study schedule across a whole week can keep your mind from being burned out. Photo courtesy

While having a dedicated space can aid in learning, it would all be for nothing without a strategy in tackling your studies. Simply re-reading your class notes is not enough and could even do you more harm than good. UNC Chapel Hill’s Learning Center details two methods to study more effectively and reduce burnout. Active studying involves engaging with the material and simulating classroom learning. On top of this, distributed practice is a method where multiple short time periods are dedicated to the class over several days. Both concepts are something to consider before you consider an all-nighter the night before an exam.

Times are stressful to begin with due to the ongoing pandemic and final exams surely don’t help with reducing it. Hopefully some of these tips will help put your mind at ease and do well during this final stretch. Good luck, and happy studying!

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