You have your finals ahead and feeling nervous, are you? Well, it’s natural – especially when you’re a fresher. There’s no need to downplay the significance of the event: these exams really do mean a lot, and they are always stressful.
However, there’s much less stress if you are well-prepared. In this article, we’ll share with you some proven techniques that will make your test preparation process easier and more efficient. Read on to find out!
1. Make a Schedule
Hopefully, you’ve studied diligently and attended every significant lecture during the semester. But anyway, you’ll need to revise a lot of stuff in order to get prepared for your final test and get a high grade.
Higher education is different from secondary, and finals are more demanding than the tests you might have had before. Luckily for you, if your school gives students a week before the exams so that they could spend it on preparation. If yours doesn’t, things are going to be more complicated.
Anyway, time management is key. So, put aside everything that can be postponed or dropped, and concentrate on your studies. Sit down and make a schedule using a paper or a software task planner. Be sure to include every subject and every topic, so that you won’t leave anything out.
2. Ask for Help
Asking for help is natural, so don’t hesitate to do it if you feel that you can’t cope on your own. Being a fresher is already a challenge, and you needn’t add up to the stress by trying to do everything alone. After all, your goal is to pass an exam, isn’t it?
Of course, you should learn the material, but reaching out for help won’t make you a less worthy student. Instead, it will increase your chances of grasping the material better! But who can you turn for help to?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Your professor or lecturer;
- Relatives and older friends;
- Professional tutors from a tutoring service.
If you are also assigned an academic paper prior to the finals and you feel like you don’t have enough time or skills to complete the task, you can find the best essay writer service online to lend you a hand. This will allow you to focus on test prep entirely.
3. Create the Right Environment
Having a schedule and sufficient help is super-important, but sometimes it’s still hard to study because of the wrong environment. If there are too many distractions, if your workplace is uncomfortable, or you don’t have everything you need at hand, focusing on your studies becomes a daunting task.
In order to make the most of the time that you devote to exam preparation, pay attention to where you study. Clean up your workplace, and assemble everything you might need so that searching for a textbook won’t take you an hour. The same applies to the documents on your laptop: take the time to arrange them properly.
Minimizing distractions is also vital. If you can’t concentrate at home, it may be better to study on campus.
4. Study In Short Intervals
The temptation may be great to try to learn everything all at once to get it all done and forget about it. But this is definitely not the way to go. The problem is, most people can’t work effectively for too long – they need to distract to be able to function effectively.
Studying in short chunks and taking regular breaks has long been proven a much more effective approach than spending hours with a textbook or in front of a screen trying to make yourself absorb the unabsorbable. Small regular breaks can help you boost creativity, regain focus, and increase productivity.
However, pay attention to maintaining consistency. A good way to watch your timing is using a special technique – for example, a well-known Pomodoro method.
5. Use Smart Learning Techniques
The way you study also matters, not just the timing. Today, there are a lot of techniques that are far more effective than cramming, which is very ineffective and takes much longer than more sophisticated methods.
Here are some ideas of what you can try:
- Retrieval practice, also known as the testing effect. The idea behind this method is that we learn best when we try to get the information out of our brains, not put it into it. So, before you start cramming, try to find out what you already know on the subject.
- Interleaving practice. This technique implies learning multiple interconnected topics subjects at a time as opposed to focusing on only one. This approach helps to see the bigger picture and create stronger connections that make it easier to retrieve the required information.
- Spaced practice, which involves short frequent study sessions and reviewing sessions over an extended time period.
If you still need to memorize something, do it the smart way. You can use:
- Flashcards (Quizlet, Studyblue, or any other app that you like);
- Storytelling, and more.
Whichever technique you use, be sure to test your knowledge once in a while before you move on.
6. Work In Pairs or Groups
Speaking about testing – it’s always a good idea to work in pairs or groups, especially if the subject is something that involves creativity. Surely, you can just do a test – but tests can’t ask you additional questions and give you clues, can they? When you work with a fellow student, he or she can challenge you more than a piece of software.
What’s more, you can develop ideas together, and share some learning hacks and techniques. There’s also no chance of procrastination, as working in a pair or a group requires one to be fully present and totally focused.
First finals are always a challenge. However, it’s quite possible to meet them fully armed if you choose the winning preparations strategies. The ideas and tips listed above, if you follow them, will be sufficient to get you through the stressful exam week without too much hassle.
Still, there’s one more thing that’s absolutely vital, that is – whatever you do, don’t forget to take care of yourself! Sleep well, eat healthily, exercise regularly, and remember: the better you feel, the better you perform.
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