May 23, 2024

A Student’s Guide to Surviving Finals Week

Everything you’ve learned during the semester is tested during finals week. Many students find this extremely stressful, even if they’ve gone to all their classes and have been studying in their own time. To ensure you gain good grades without sacrificing your mental health, there are a few things you need to do.

1. Stop Procrastinating

Studying for finals may be the last thing you want to do some days, but it’s important to find the time. Add study sessions to your schedule long before exam day to ensure you won’t procrastinate and end up cramming — this is a much less effective way to study. Give yourself plenty of time to cover all the material.

2. Take Care of Your Physical Health

You’ll perform much better on your finals if you feel good physically. This means maintaining a healthy lifestyle with enough sleep and exercise, and eating a balanced diet.

Even if stress about your finals is making it difficult to sleep, it’s important to stick to a bedtime to improve the chances you do sleep enough. More sleep will increase your ability to retain information and improve your focus during the day. It’s also another reason why you need to start studying early in the semester to avoid all-nighters.

3. Use Productive Study Tactics

Experiment with various study tactics to find out what works best for you. All the techniques you use should be active rather than passive, such as answering questions on flash cards, highlighting key information, and rewriting your notes into shorter summaries. If you have access to example exams, writing the answers is a great way to study. Bear in mind, you may need to use different tactics according to the type of material and exam.

4. Study in a Group

If you struggle to stay focused on your own, study in a group. Arrange to meet with your group on a regular basis to keep each other accountable. Use these sessions to compare notes, quiz each other, and brainstorm ideas to problems like those you will encounter on the exam. You should also practice explaining concepts to each other — if you’re able to explain concepts to someone else, you’ve definitely understood the material.

5. Create a Suitable Study Environment

Pick a place to study where you’re able to concentrate and where no one will disturb you. You’ll need a desk with a comfortable chair, sufficient lighting, and space for all your study materials. You may also like some background music. Classical music without any lyrics tends to be ideal. Search for playlists or create your own.

6. Remove Distractions

Your study space needs to be free from distractions. Since your phone is likely your biggest distraction, keep it out of reach to prevent temptations. It’s also helpful to turn off notifications to discourage you from getting up to check it if you hear an alert.

7. Allow Yourself Breaks

You’ll see better results if you break studying down into shorter sessions than if you try to study for as long as possible. Figure out how long you’re able to stay focused and set a timer to take a break after this period of time. Use your breaks productively for activities like power naps, workouts, stretches, breathing exercises, or even cleaning your apartment.

Key to surviving finals week is having somewhere to study, rest, and blow off steam. You’ll find just such a place at the Revalie. Our Ottawa student housing provides you with a modern suite in minimalist style, a variety of communal and private study areas, and numerous places to socialize and relax. Apply now for a lease.

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