College is full of wonderful experiences from meeting new friends to taking new classes and having your eyes opened to a variety of new opinions and ideas. However, it's also full of distractions from the different parties to seeing friends in the library to social media. Times have changed, and staying focused on your studies can be more difficult than ever. We know it's a struggle sometimes, which is why we put together some study tips to ace your finals. It's important to always put your education first, which means making the time to focus on those grades.
These study tips to ace your finals may not all work for everyone, but give them a try to find the perfect fit for your lifestyle and study style.
Take good notes
This is key, if you're not focused in class and taking good notes, even if you study from the textbook, you're going to miss quite a few of the questions. In college, many of the professors will go off-book and focus their lectures on something that isn't in the textbooks or maybe point out some inaccuracies in the textbooks. If that's the case, and you weren't taking proper notes, you'll miss all of those questions on the exam. There are several ways to take good notes. One is to record the lecture, and then transcribe the recording later when you are in the comfort of your room. This ensures you aren't missing anything as you go along. Another way is to use bullet points in a notebook and highlight the important pieces, without adding too much of the extraneous information. Finally, typing up the lecture as the professor speaks is the final option. Depending on the type of student you are, if you are easily distracted by social media and memes, you may be better off limiting yourself from your laptop during class lectures.
Stay on top of deadlines
Finals time means final projects, changing in schedules for the exams, and a lot going on at once. Keep a calendar or planner with everything written down as far as due dates to ensure that you don't turn anything in late. Check your syllabus, ensure that you've gotten everything written down, and create a color-coded system for the items that still need to be done and are due immediately.
Don't wait until the last minute
Cramming may sound appealing, but odds are you won't retain as much information, which means you won't do as well on those exams. Instead, focus on doing a little bit at a time, and pacing your studying. Give yourself an hour or two each day over several days, and make sure you're going over the information weekly. This will help keep it fresh in your mind in time for finals.
Find the right studying environment
Some people focus best in the library away from the distractions of their phones, computers, and roommates, while others would be easily distracted people-watching everyone coming in and out of the library. In order to succeed, you need to determine the best place for you to study. If you need quiet, book out a study room in the library, if you can focus in your room and don't want the distractions of running into people, stay in your room and tune everything out for a bit.
You may think that you remember everything when you are going over your notes, but you may find otherwise if you use notecards. Put the question on the front, and the answer on the back, and then quiz yourself. Writing it down on the note cards will help you retain it more easily, and then the repetitiveness of asking will help you to retain the information as well.
Study with others
If you have a friend or two in the class, assign yourselves sections to teach the other one. This will help you both to retain the information, as well as potentially catch something that was missed previously in your notes or during the lecture.
Take a break
Too much studying is a real thing, and it can cause burnout. Make sure to take a break every hour for about ten minutes, and take time to stretch and take a walk. It will help you clear your head and ensure that you are retaining the information rather than reading the same paragraph over and over again.