Okay, so how are you all feeling about final exams this December? Are you stressed or anxious? Pretty solid? Great? Possibly even excited, because exams are a blast? Of course, these are natural responses to one of the most daunting events on the academic calendar.
Exam season is now upon you, and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed at the thought of your finals being just around the corner. This time of the year is often associated with all-night study sessions, endless cups of coffee, and a severe lack of social life.
This is why we’ve put together six simple but valuable tips to help you survive this year’s UBC exam period.
1. Stay Organized and Know Your Finals Schedule
Scheduling class meetings, homework, assignments, projects, and study sessions are crucial to staying organized. Use a planner/calendar to keep track of deadlines, dates, and times, so you don’t forget anything important. Check your class syllabus for key dates and plan out the
time for a study schedule that works for you. Look up your finals schedule on your SSCs well before finals week rather than just throwing yourself into it. Taking the time to double-check and confirm your test schedule will help you get organized and ease test anxiety.
2. Plan Ahead of Time and Make a Study Plan
We all know how stressful and overwhelming it can be to absorb five courses worth of content a week before the exams, which often never ends well. A solution to this problem is to schedule your study in advance. Start reviewing your notes and course material as soon as possible, usually the week or weekend before and during finals week. One method is to study for the first test you have or the one you need to study for the hardest, make a priority list, and start there.
Create a study schedule that allows you to review material at your own pace, for example, combating fatigue by setting a time for 30-minute increments. Take a 10-minute break in between study sessions to rest and recharge. Take your workload one step at a time and try not to get overwhelmed. Make notecards and quizlets - they could be your best friends. While it may sound like a daunting task, having a study schedule weeks before finals would not only ensure that you cover all your study material in time but also allows you to have fun in the break time, such as playing your favorite sport or watching Netflix.
3. Clear Your Space of Distractions
Put yourself in an environment that prevents you from getting distracted easily. Silence your phone, put it on do not disturb mode, or even put it away completely. In addition, resist the urge to browse websites unrelated to your course material. Download your resources ahead of time and disable your internet when you’re ready to begin to help keep you focused.
Some people like the complete silence of a library setting, while others like the stimulation of a busy café. Some students prefer sitting at their desks to study, others like an outdoor study spot. The best study environment for you is the one that feels most productive, so try out a few places to see which works best.
4. Get Adequate Sleep
Most students have experienced staying up late to complete an assignment and understand the unpleasant feeling of restlessness that hits the next day. It will be harder to focus on the material you are studying for if you keep pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion. A good night’s rest aids in learning and memorizing and prevents you from falling ill during this critical time.
5. Create Study Groups with Classmates and Friends (CUStudy @cusacademics)
Studying with others can help deepen your understanding of the content. Form study groups with people in your class. It’s easier to understand when multiple brains are thinking about the material. You always learn more from study groups because someone might say something about the material you have never considered. Finals season also signals your “hibernation” period, where you find yourselves alone in the rooms all day with textbooks. Studying with friends can not only improve your mood and confidence but also reinforce learning through testing and helping out one another.
6. Take Care of Your Health and Reward Yourself
Filling up on junk food to save time is not the most brilliant strategy for studying. Instead, keep a balanced diet of “brain foods” like fresh fruits and vegetables, balanced with protein and healthy fats to fuel your mind. The same goes for sleep: Plan to get a good sleep the night before the exam. Good study habits are hard work! Treat yourself to breaks and little rewards to keep you going. Healthy snacks, nice walks outside, or even an episode of your favorite TV show are good ways to keep you motivated.
Knowing your effective study strategies is the key to success in your college and will also help your future career. Finding the study tips that work best for you will save your time and energy and achieve the best results.