Wanna ace your finals? Smart scientists say do this.
During finals week, many of us feel like malnourished
clawing our way to the last day of school.
November 19, 2019
During finals week, many of us feel like malnourished zombies clawing
our way to the last day of school. Though you may never be the optimist
whistling your way to finals, there are certainly things you can do to
increase your confidence before your bum hits that cold hard seat.
I know you know the basics - breath, sleep, eat before and/or during
your exams. If you don’t already know that, well… breath, sleep, and eat.
These are the basics of human survival and finals week isn’t an excuse
to avoid these essentials for proper mental function.
As a matter of fact, finals week is one of the best times to double-down
on some healthy breathing, sleeping, and eating.
Now for actual study, is there an optimal schedule to follow when
studying for finals that require a lot of memorization? Research on
this very topic says so! To remember information for a longer period of
time, space out your study sessions. Based on a 2008 study on the
“spacing effect” conducted at the University of California, San Diego,
if your final exam is 1 month away, here is the best study schedule:
- 1 week from today
- A day before the test
For the study-a-week-before students, you can again do 3 study sessions:
- Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow
- A day before the test
Make sure to tailor your study schedule based on the amount and type of
information you need to remember and how much time you have before
your test. Research on the spacing effect mainly used memorization
type tests like those for vocabulary or name and date recall.
If you’re really aiming for that A, change up where you study.
Another study illustrated that people who varied their environments
(from a cluttered basement to a clean courtyard-view room) had a
40% improvement in memory.
This means don’t lock yourself in your bedroom with notes and poptarts
all week. Treat yourself, your notes, and poptarts to a field trip.
Popular spots are the library, park, or coffeeshop. Choose any place,
other than the last place you studied.
- Breath, sleep, and eat.
- Space your studies based on when your test is.
- Go on field trips.
Everyone experiences the finals jitters, which makes
test-taking even more uncomfortable. But with some prep,
you'll be one of the few to breeze right through it
and leave the room smiling.
Feeling a tad stressed? Take a quick break
and head over to
Science Says on Apple Podcasts to
listen to our latest episode on
mindfulness research and stress reduction in college students.
Don't Miss A Thing.
Sign up to receive exclusive offers & content straight to your inbox.