Final exams always make students feel unsettled. The truth is, as years pass, you will probably understand that you overreacted, but it’s natural to worry about something that defines your future prospects. Still, learning how to deal with these worries is a must for anyone. Every next stage of your educational and career journey is bound to be more complicated and, thus, more meaningful. So, start preparing for them now. It won’t be easy, but it might get a bit simpler with our tips you can find below.
Get Yourself a Fidget Toy
For hyperactive students, a fidget toy is a proven way to stay calm and focused when the tension because of the finals is sky-high. According to Stalvey and Brasel, stress balls are especially useful. Also, in Rohrberger’s study, fidget toys were efficient for every two out of three students. So, mind that if you find yourself distressed and, thus, too distracted to prepare for an exam, it can be overcome.
Use a Writing Service
Preparation for an exam usually comes down to creating cheat sheets. Few people manage to use them during an exam, and there’s no need to risk your grade. Yet, cheat sheets are still valuable. First of all, they summarize the information dispersed throughout numerous books, guidelines, notes, and internet sources. Second, if you write them yourself, some information is retained. Nevertheless, there is one con – it takes an awful lot of time to go through all the materials and write down important details.
That’s where a writing service can be of great use – no, they are not here only for ‘write my essays‘ requests! In order to save your time, consider delegating the compilation of answers for your exams to a professional. It’s not actually writing, but rather editing. The expert will need to arrange all the crucial notes according to the questions or topics and maybe simplify some definitions.
Meanwhile, you can study something else or practice the most complex exercises on the subject. As soon as the writer finishes some questions, you can start learning the theory instead of wasting time and filling your head with unnecessary information you would see in the books.
Find Some Samples
Some students have an excellent memory, others store all the little things to be on the safe side. Or, they might have some results saved in their profiles or in e-mails. The point is, do ask other students about samples of tests, essay topics, math problems, and so on. Even if they have neither physical nor electronic copies, they might remember the most complex questions and tasks. Those are probably the weakest points of most students, so you will be prepared.
In case you’re lucky to have samples or even answers, the first thing to remember is that you should never learn them by heart or just remember formulae – it won’t be enough. Try to go through the questions yourself and answer them, solve a couple of problems. After that, compare your results with the correct ones. If these two don’t match, revise the theory to understand why the correct answers are considered such. Try asking your classmates if you lack some knowledge.
Not a single student knows a subject perfectly. There are always some gaps or questions they can’t answer straight ahead. It is wise to start with such topics. They require one to process more information and comprehend more notions, and the latter takes time. So:
- sort your notes according to the complexity;
- prepare the most complex answers first;
- proceed with the easier ones;
- revise the complex answers.
Let’s discuss why you should follow the advice from the previous sentence. Imagine a bare wall in front of you. When you dig into a topic for the first time, it’s like you put on the first layer of paint on the wall. The first revision is the second layer of paint. It enhances the color as well as the thickness of the paint, which makes it harder to scrape it down. Finally, you add one or two layers of varnish and it becomes very hard to damage the surface.
In the same manner, the more you revise, the better you remember the details. Yet, mind that going through one and the same text is a bad idea. Your brain needs time to arrange information, just as the paint should be left to dry before you add one more layer.
Communicate With Your Classmates
It’s never easy to prepare for exams, but the process definitely becomes less tough when you have company. Even if it’s not about preparation but a simple sharing of some thoughts and worries, use this resource of support and tips. You can always ask someone to help you understand a concept or how to solve a task.
It also works the opposite way. If you prepare for exams with someone, try to explain something in simple words. This technique helps a lot when it comes to memorizing some details.
Learn More During the Term
Just in case it’s not too late and for some reason, you’re reading this article in the middle of the term, do yourself a favor: start now. If by the time the finals come, you already know the major part of the course, you won’t have to deal with that much pressure. A serious revision and preparation will still be required, but those are a piece of cake in comparison to reading huge volumes of information for the first time and trying to cram all of that.
Don’t Study Hours in a Row
The final tip would be to take care of yourself, have regular breaks, and not sacrifice your sleep before the exam. Hours of reading through a bunch of notes and books won’t do any good if you don’t understand something basic or struggle to focus.
Split the preparation into sessions and set a timer to have a break after an hour or so. The sessions’ length may vary depending on your preferences, some people even have a break every 20 minutes. Yet, don’t spend several hours without rest. When you feel tired or stuck, try the following things that will refresh your mind and distract you:
- have a 10-minute walk and fresh air;
- do some chores like dishwashing;
- go to groceries;
- play with a pet;
- call someone;
- check social media.
Yes, even checking social media may help. If you don’t scroll your feed and recommendations for 30 minutes or more, it’s a nice distracting factor. It can make you forget about the topic you struggle to understand while your brain will still try to comprehend it in the background. If it’s the end of a tough day, a small break won’t help though. So, sometimes, it’s better to go to sleep.
Whenever you feel like exams are impossible to pass, remember that there’s always a way to do it. The old method of cramming is no longer relevant or efficient – it probably never was. There are many other smart approaches that can help you out, and the major ones are listed above. Do follow them to succeed in your finals as well as stay emotionally stable. Good luck!