That dreaded final exam week could sneak up on you pretty quickly. Indeed, finals cause anxiety for students of all calibers. During this time, exhausted and weary-eyed pupils wander to the library while schlepping 10 pounds of books underarm. Fortunately, there are certain tactics you can take to ease the stress caused by an upcoming test. Following are some effective and efficient measures when it comes to studying for a test.
Get a Head Start
Although this tactic may seem like common knowledge, you would not believe how many students attempt to study for a test all in a single night. Cramming is a rather ineffective method when it comes to studying. Indeed, pulling an all-nighter leaves your exhausted brain full of jumbled thoughts and ideas. Instead, try to begin studying at least one week in advance. This way, you can cover different portions of material each night. Also, when you study in shorter increments each night, you leave yourself able to maintain a sufficient amount of sleep. When it comes to preparing for a test, your body and mind need as much rest as possible.
Take Good Notes
Regardless of your natural intelligence, you will not be successful in any class if you do not take an adequate set of notes. When it comes to note taking, it is best to try and write down every piece of information that your instructor offers. There is no such thing as a set of notes that is too thorough. Try writing down review questions for yourself in the margins of your notes. When it comes down to study time, read over all of your notes thoroughly and try answering all of your review questions. Repeat this process each day for at least a week prior to the test. By the time the actual test rolls around, you should be thoroughly prepared and confident in your abilities to do well.
Take Care of your Mind and Body
As it has already been stated, nothing good comes out of staying up all night. When you have a test in the morning, try to get at least 8 hours of sleep. Getting a sufficient amount of sleep ensures that your mind is rested and working clearly. Now that you have taken care of your mind, do not forget about your body. Eat a full and complete breakfast in the morning. Fresh fruit and oatmeal is an excellent breakfast that provides you with energy and stamina. Remember to keep yourself hydrated as well—drink plenty of water upon getting up in the morning. Also, be sure to avoid any sort of discomfort during the test. To fight off hunger pangs, bring a healthy, natural snack (such as a bag of walnuts) with you to the exam. Make sure to use the restroom before the test begins as well.