For most students, finals are that dreadful time of year that consummates the entire semester. One big test can make or break a GPA, and there is nothing that seems more stressful to a student. Surprisingly, many students still make some bad study choices, but with proper planning, you can be sure to set yourself up for success. Here are some scientifically proven study tips to help you make it through the roughest time of year.
Remember, mind over matter.
Researchers have found that your outlook is almost as important as your actions. If you are able to put yourself in the right mindset, you are much more likely to succeed. This idea is very in line with the old saying, “Fake it until you make it.” Just try to think positively. You are clearly smart if you made it into BC.
Settle down in the perfect study spot...
But do not be afraid to mix it up from time to time. It has been shown that switching study spots helps to increase memory. You also get to avoid inducing illness from the greenness of Bapst or the yellowness of Lower. Keep in mind that some spots are better than others. Look for a brightly lit area, as bright lights have been proven to increase learning and alertness. Also avoid a place with distractions, such as loud noises and lots of movement. Avoid multitasking at all costs as well. Multitasking causes the brain to split attention between each task to work on multiple things simultaneously.
If you have a chance, get out and exercise.
Exercise can be a super-efficient and beneficial study break. It improves brain function by getting even blood flow to the brain, maximizing alertness and information retention.
While you are studying, make connections.
Do not just memorize facts off a sheet of paper. Put all of the information together to get a full picture. Even trying to associate your subject with emotions can be beneficial to retaining the information long-term. It has been shown that the stronger an emotion you can relate to your study material, the more likely you are to be able to recall it later.
Catch some Zzz’s.
You have heard time and time again about the importance of sleep, but this is truly no joke. Your mother, teachers and doctor were all right when they told you that pulling an all-nighter would do more harm than good. Infinite studies have proven that sleep deprivation will wreck your memory, making all the time you spent studying a waste.
Use recall methods while studying.
Practice tests for review have been shown to greatly increase learning. Outlining and rewriting notes can also help you to put information together. There are a ton of options such as flash cards, videos and associative memory techniques, such as imaging techniques or pneumonics. Recitation (out loud if possible) is a great long-term memory strategy. Also, the more interested you are in something, the easier it is to learn. Remember why you are taking the course in the first place and think about what it has to offer to your future.
Remember how close you are to the finish. Enjoy every second that you have with your friends and be thankful for the opportunity to go to such a great school. Finals will be over before you know it, and you will make it through. Most importantly, have a great summer. Good luck!