Study Tips: Final Exams!
As Spring is now in full swing, the sun is warming up, days are getting longer, and dreams of summer are getting closer and closer, the last hurdle of the school year is quickly approaching...final exams! As we all know, these exams bring with them lots of stress and anxiety. They typically include a great deal of content, some cumulative of the full spring semester, some of the entire school year. These weeks leading up to finals are an invaluable time to organize, clarify, and study in an efficient and effective way so that information is retained in long-term memory and easily recalled when it counts. Below are helpful tips to refer to, and to implement into your study plan when prepping for final exams.
- Organize Your Backpack. Take out all binders and loose notes. Recycle any old papers that are no longer needed. Save any papers, notes, tests, quizzes, essays, and handouts that would be helpful in studying for your finals, and place them in chronological order in your binders.
- Clarify Final Exams. Check with your teachers to the final exam format. You don’t want any surprises on exam day. Does the test consist of objective questions, short answer questions, multiple choice questions, and/or essay questions? This information will guide how you’re going to study for the exam. For example, if you know that there will be an essay question, you can write practice essays on a variety of prompts.
- Study Materials. Check with your teachers to see if final exam study guides and practice tests will be supplied. Many teachers provide this information. It’s a good idea to ask your teachers about these resources now, as the earlier you work with this material, the better!
- Time Management. When starting test preparation, it is natural to feel overwhelmed, thinking, “How am I going to remember all of this??” It is important to create a thorough study schedule for yourself so you can approach studying for finals in small chunks, giving yourself time for well needed breaks and fun.
- Understand Objectives. Visit each lesson/chapter in your textbook or main lesson. Read the first page, paying attention to the lesson objectives and chapter outlines. Did you meet those objectives? Do you understand the objectives/themes? If not, review the chapter contents and your chapter notes. Take notes on your notes! Then review your chapter assignments and any past quizzes and tests.
- Review. Look through your textbook lessons, notes, PowerPoints, and worksheets for highlighted words and links if applicable. These highlighted concepts are usually important vocabulary words or themes that are integral parts of the course’s content. Write out these definitions and try to make connections in your own words using mnemonic devices.
- Answer Assessment Questions. Go to the final page of each lesson/chapter in your textbooks. This is where assignment instructions or chapter assessments usually are. Do you understand the instructions? Could you easily redo the assignments/quizzes with confidence now that time has passed? Are there any word or vocabulary skills you need to review?
- Know Your Grades. Do you have any C’s or below? If so, this is an opportunity to meet with your teacher, express your goal for raising your grade, and make plans for additional study help with a tutor.
- Eat Healthy. It’s important to eat a nutritious breakfast before your final exams, drink plenty of water, and get a good night’s rest before your exam. Take your time on the test and breathe. Remember to always proofread what you write. Good luck!
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The Aspen Team