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Dec 01 2016
by Joyce Lee

5 Tips for Getting Through Finals

By Joyce Lee - Dec 01 2016
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Now that December is upon us with 40°F weather and holiday spirit, it's also time to begin preparing for final exams coming up in just a few weeks! Cumulative exams pack a lot of information in, so it's always good to start early so you retain all the knowledge you need. Here are a few quick tips to get you started!

NYU's Bobst Library from Wikimedia Commons

1. Find a clean study space that suits your habits.

Some of us like the white noise of Starbucks while we study, while others like music in their ears, and some even like Bobst's complete silence. Either way, make sure your study space allows you to have a clear mind to work efficiently.

(Pro-tip: You'll be taking the exam, presumably, at a desk, so it's good to condition your brain to get into a studious mode by revising at a desk or table rather than your bed.)


Wikimedia Commons

2. Set realistic goals of what you want to cover.

Keep in mind how long each study session will be and make a to-do list of topics you want to go over. Having an organized plan makes it easier to keep up a good work flow. Also, check out what kind of learner you are and tailor your studying habits to methods that will best help you!


Flat Tomato, available in Apple's App Store

3. Take breaks!

Of course, that doesn't mean you should spend 20 minutes studying and then go on Instagram for an hour. However, studies show that information is best retained in 23-25 minute intervals. Apps like Flat Tomato can track 25-minute blocks of studying followed by a quick 5-minute break for water and a snack!


Wikimedia Commons

4. Pretend you're teaching the material.

Sometimes, flashcards and handwritten notes just don't cut it. If you have a friend who isn't also dead from finals-induced stress, sit down with them and try to teach them the material you're trying to digest. If you can explain it clearly to others, you understand it enough for the exam. If your friends are busy studying for finals themselves, type out a quick "class plan" of the material you're studying as if you're going to teach it to a class.


http://www.takeabiteblog.com/blog/2013/12/study-snacks.html

5. Eat and sleep!

If your body is deprived of rest and energy, your brain might soon follow in fatigue. Make sure you hydrate and sleep as much as you can on nights before an exam. (Also, this is the time of year when other freshmen are trying to get rid of meal swipes, so jump on this opportunity and keep yourself well-fed!)

Here are some other resources and detailed guides for exam prep and how to deal with post-exam stress.


Most of all, remember that after this bout of grueling testing comes four weeks of glorious, beautiful rest and relaxation. When all else fails, cling onto that hope and soldier forward. You can do this!


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Featured image: UBC Learning Commons via Flickr


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Joyce Lee - New York University

Joyce Lee is a freshman at NYU, majoring in Media, Culture, and Communications. You can find her writing mediocre poetry or exploring New York's thriving food scene in her free time.

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