21 Best Study Tips for Final Exams

You have made it to the final stretch of your college career. If you are like me, then this midterm season has been a long trial of patience and focus. For those who are still in the throws of finals week, heed these 21 last study tips before you take that test or turn that paper in! Trust me, your future self will thank you for it.

1. Get the big things out of the way first.

This is a really important tip, especially if you are like me and have trouble focusing on one task at a time. We all usually study better with our own schedules but if your midterm or final is spread out over several days, try to knock out the hardest tests first. Doing this will help get the hard things out of the way and let you focus on what’s left better.

2. Take regular breaks!

Believe it or not, taking a 10 minute break every 1-2 hours is actually beneficial to your studying. The reason why is because when you study for long periods of time without a break, your mind feels like it’s been overloaded with information and can’t absorb anymore. When you take a short break after this, its like starting over because your brain is fresh again.

3. Quit procrastinating!

Don’t wait till the last minute to study or do assignments; we all know how this ends up. The more time you have to study, the more relaxed and focused you can be. A lot of times this means going out while having a set date to finish an assignment or home when your test is scheduled for.

4. Figure Out Your Best Time To Study

What I mean by this is study during the time of day that works best for your schedule and attention span. For me, I study best early in the morning or late at night. If you like to be out and about when studying, make sure to allot time for breaks and such when you can’t go home (which might mean skipping a party or two).

5. Print Out Your Notes!

Writing notes by hand gives you a visual representation of what you are studying, making it easier to retain the information. Also, if you decide to go back and reread your notes while taking a break or before bed, they will be nice and clean and easy to read.

6. Use Flashcards!

Flashcards are a great way to reinforce your studying. Write down the topics you need to study and make multiple cards for each. Then go through them in sets, trying to get them all correct before moving on to the next set. After going through all of them once, do it again but try to get through as many as possible per sitting. This is a great way to memorize information.

7. Get Involved In Something Else!

Having a hobby or taking on some extra curricular activities will help take your mind off of school and encourage you to have fun before your college career is over. For those who are graduating, its also a good idea to join clubs or organizations that are similar to ones you would join after college. This way, it will be easy for you to transition into real life.

8. Find the Best Place To Study!

Some people prefer studying in their room, others find it more productive sitting on a bench outside on campus or even at a coffee shop downtown. Find what place of study is the best for you and then go there whenever you have free time to study.

9. Take Care of Yourself!

Making sure that you are eating properly, getting enough rest and staying active is crucial when studying for finals! A lot of people forget about how important it is to stay healthy so try to stick to a schedule with proper sleeping and eating. Also, don’t forget to get out once in a while!

10. Have A Study Buddy!

Having someone who is going through the same things as you are will help a lot when studying for finals. You can go back and forth with notes or even just study together for a bit! It’s also nice to know that someone else is going through the same thing as you are.

11. Review Previous Test Questions!

If your test is similar to a previous one, try to find the answers from the previous test and study them beforehand. Doing this will help you understand important concepts that might be on a final, especially if they appeared on a midterm or another kind of test before.

12. Give It Time!

Last but not least, just breathe and go over what you know. Stress causes a lot of people to panic and forget things that they have already learned, so take time after your test is done taking the stress off of yourself. Stress has been scientifically proven to cause memory loss as well as lower test scores.

13. Stick to Your Plan!

If you have a study plan, get started on it early before your test is scheduled! This will make sure that there are no surprises when finals roll around.

14. Take Breaks!

Studying for four hours straight is not the best thing to do when studying for finals. Take breaks throughout your study session so you can let your mind absorb everything. Make time for friends and family while studying as well, it will give you nice moments of relaxation!

15. Remove Distractions!

Turn off any devices that might distract you when studying for finals. This includes turning off the TV, closing apps on your phone or closing your laptop. This way you can better focus on the task at hand, which is studying for finals!

16. Focus On The Important Stuff!

While it might be a good idea to look over every topic before a final, going over every detail is not recommended for most people. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of all of the main ideas and then go over specific topics that you are not sure of.

17. Master What You Know!

Practice problems are the best way to understand concepts that might be on your final. If you’re learning something new, try to find practice problems for it online or even in your textbook if its really hard. Practicing problems will help you understand the problems and concepts more than just reading over it!

18. Get Some Sleep!

Sleep deprivation can be a huge factor in studying for finals, so make sure that you get enough sleep before your test. Not only will proper sleep give you energy to study, but it also helps retain information and gives your brain time to process everything.

19. Take Classes Similar to Your Final!

If your final is an AP test and you’re taking a college-level class, consider taking an easier course for the semester that’s more similar to your final. Doing this will help you get better grades in classes related to your final so when it comes time to take the big test, you’ll be prepared!

20. Make A Study Guide!

Make a study guide for your final if you’re having trouble studying. This will help you get organized and stay on track when studying for finals. Just be sure to not copy sentence-by-sentence off of it or else it won’t do you any good!

21. Relax!

Don’t stress out too much when studying for finals, remember it’s only one test and it’s not worth stressing yourself out over. Doing this can cause you to lose your memory and lower your test scores which is the opposite of what you want!


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