Studying for Finals

A college student asked me how to best prepare for finals. Despite not taking to many finals in my day I share the secret to studying and "ace"ing all of your finals. (and any other test for that matter)

From a college student:

“I have finals coming up in a couple of weeks, and I was wondering what you think is the best studying method. Just so you know I have a math class, two English classes, and a chemistry class. They all have finals within a two-day span, which is in two and a half weeks. What’s the best strategy?”

            Well the key to preparing for anything is to prioritize. So if you need to do better on one of the finals than another then you want to be sure to spend more time on studying that subject. So one strategy is to order the classes in order of the grade that you need on the test. And then divide your time up accordingly (more time on the tests that you need to score higher).

            Assuming that all the classes are equal priority wise, then I would do them in order of class I dislike the most first. (So for me, I enjoy math so I would do it last, and English is my least favored so I would study English first)

            So you have all your studying ordered, but it seems as if you have thousands of pages of material to cover. Well you should go through and find out what all you know right from the beginning. That way you don’t have to waste your time studying something that you already know! You can get right into learning (or relearning) the other material.

            Another piece of advice that I would like you to be sure to follow is that studying for long periods of time without break can actually cause you to retain less information. So try to study for two to three hours then do something enjoyable for an hour or so. Even if it is just watch a TV program or go outside and play catch. Then after your body has relaxed for about an hour, it is time to go back to studying and you will be able to retain information and study more efficiently.

            It is a good thing that you are beginning to study early (props to you). This gives you plenty of time to rotate through your material multiple times. So you can divide each subject into smaller portions (by chapter maybe) and then study part of your English, part of your chemistry, part of your math, then repeat.

            One last thing that I must say, you may want to pull an all-nighter the day before your exams. You must be sure not to do this for your body functions poorly on littler to no-sleep. You will actually hinder yourself but staying up late studying, rather than going to bed early. Also be sure to eat a good breakfast the day of your exam.

A Wise Man

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