If you’re like me, you hate finals week. The stress, the time management, the crowded libraries.. Knowing how to properly prepare for finals is the key to avoiding the stress and acing every single one of your exams. Here are some proven methods that will have you focused and better prepared.
1. Say NO to cramming: Study in intervals! Studying in 20-50 minute increments and giving yourself 5-10 minutes in between is more beneficial than cramming. Distributing learning over time typically benefits long-term retention more than a short period.
2. Say YES to cardio: Science says that just 20 minutes of cardio can improve your memory. Whether you’re dancing, jogging or busting a sweat by walking, exercise will increase your energy level and reduce the effects of stress. Very important!
3. Eat superfoods/antioxidants: Everybody knows you should eat breakfast the day of a big test. Research suggests that high-carb, high-fiber, slow-digesting foods like oatmeal are best (oatmeal is more fulfilling than cereal). But what you eat a week in advance matters, too. When 16 college students were tested on attention and thinking speed, then fed a five-day high-fat, low-carb diet heavy on meat, eggs, cheese and cream and tested again, their performance declined. The students who ate a balanced diet that included fruit and vegetables, however, held steady, says Cameron Holloway, a senior clinical researcher at the University of Oxford. When you study, your brain consumes glucose, so take a five-minute break every hour to let your body produce more fuel for your studying. Eating a healthy snack is very beneficial and can make a significant difference (almonds, fruit, and yogurt are good choices).
4. Find the proper study environment: Before you focus on the task at hand, figure out what little things distract you, and get them out of the picture. This could be anything from a pet to an electronic device. Also, what a great excuse to do a little cleaning! I mean, seriously, how much better does it feel to walk into a clean room. Whether it be right when you wake up, or right before you go to bed each night, make time for keeping your space clean. It just feels SO much better to work in, and is accompanied by peace of mind.
I hope these tips help lead you in the direction of success! It all boils down to studying hard, getting enough rest, and exercising your mind and body. Think positive and you’ll do just fine on those finals.