Finals Week Study Advice

Finals week is quickly approaching! Check out these tips for success from our Vice President of Scholarship, Anna Tamasi.

Everyone knows that to succeed during finals week, you have to study hard and study often. Most of us, however, will still slack off the week leading up to finals, either seizing our last chance to have fun or pushing off studying with Netflix bingeing. Although having fun now can keep us from stressing, you’ll pay for it later while trying to cram for exams. In order to find a balance between your own sanity and the madness of finals, here are a few helpful tips:

  • Make a finals checklist
      • Breakdown of what you should do in order to succeed the final of each class (ie read a book chapter, study flashcards, etc).
      • Make sure it is realistic for the time you have left, no sense in setting a goal if it’s not feasible.
  • Plan your day so you study, smile, and sleep
      • If you like a strict schedule to do by, then plan out what you want to do each day. At the very least, plan what subject(s) you will focus on and how much you want to complete (pick tasks from your checklist!)
      • Leave room in your schedule to get ice cream with friends, go for a jog, or see your significant other (an episode of Netflix counts). This will refresh you and allow your brain to rest from all the learning its been doing!
      • SLEEP. This cannot be stressed enough. Your mind needs sleep in order to process information. Plan your day so you study AND sleep. It’ll keep you from getting sick and minimizes your stress. Most importantly, sleep has been proven to improve your understanding of what you learn during the day. Been having a tough time with a concept or finishing a paper? Sleep on it!
  • Find a good study spot and stick with it
      • Research has shown that familiar spots are easier to focus in, so if you have a good study spot, no need to change!
      • Campus does get busy this time of year, so if your old spot is too distracting, check out HyVee, the Columbia Pubic Library, apartment lodges and so on to study there for the week! Make a new familiar spot.
  • Make an effort to focus
      • So much of how we study relies on our ability to focus. It can be difficult in high stress times such as finals, but make a conscious effort to focus. Don’t just read a textbook chapter, try to make sense of it in your head.
  • Diversify how you study
    • Reading things over and over doesn’t always do the trick, try different method too!
    • Talk out loud to a classmate or even yourself about the material.
    • Make your own notes on a subject from memory and compare to the facts.
    • Get creative! Different subjects call for different methods, find a new way to learn the same materials.

And check out some tips from chapter members!

“Block your studying off into chunks- give yourself a solid goal to work towards!” -Lauren Johnson

“It’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially if you have a lot going on outside classes, but it’s always doable! When I have a lot of exams coming up, I make a spreadsheet with a study plan so I can schedule everything out and make sure I manage my time!” -Alex Gnibus

“Get sleep! A few hours of rest will rejuvenate your brain enable you to think clearly.” -Hannah Saulic

“If you have developed a good method for studying for a particular class DO NOT change your technique. Our brains like patterns, so for my final exams I stick to the same routine.” -Hannah Adair

“I would advise give your phone to a friend studying with you. You take her’s as well and then when both need a break, you hand them back so you’re not distracted.” -Sarah Dopp

Here is a quick guide to study spots around Columbia!


Good luck with your finals, everyone!

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