There really is no reason to continue highlighting how stressful finals season is. Students are flooded with multiple essays, projects, exams and for many it’s an overwhelming time period. Finding the motivation or even the willpower to study for finals is a pretty big challenge in itself. Below is a short list filled with tips and advice, in hopes of helping students make the whole studying process a little bit easier.
One: Figure out your optimal study time/ window
Figuring out your optimal study window is key. Ask yourself questions such as: At what time of the day do I work best in the morning or afternoon? When do I get least distracted? Some people who are considered early birds find it more practical to begin studying as soon as they wake up, it’s their prime time. However some people are night owls, these types of people tend to be more active during the night than the day- therefore if you consider yourself to be more efficient when working at night, you don’t need to force yourself to wake up incredibly early and vice versa. It’s all about time management and understanding what works best for you. And of course getting the assignment done.
Two: Restructuring a negative perception of studying into a positive one
One really useful tip or rather advice is to change your perception of studying. Oftentimes we hear students complaining about all the work they have to do and how much they have to study. In some cases, rightfully so. With that being said, studying can still be seen as something good, even something to look forward too. Afterall you get to learn more about your career and the degree you chose to study. Next time you think about studying, replace the negative connotation with something positive, hype yourself up, make studying a fun activity, act as you would when you’re about to do something exciting, and above all live with the idea or perception that studying is something to look forward to rather than dread having to do. Sometimes saying or thinking things as simple as “I’m so happy and can’t wait to study tonight!” instead of “Great… I’m forced to study tonight” can make a bit of a difference, with enough repetition, hopefully the message will sink in and studying will no longer be something to hate.
Three: Flame meditation
The flame meditation is quite simple and easy. You can use a lighted candle or simply play a youtube video of a lighted candle. The objective is to spend three to five minutes looking at the candle, focusing on the flames and breathing. This is supposed to help your concentration. Ideally you leave this short meditation, feeling more calmed and focused. This idea may sound silly to some, but sometimes it’s better to try something new for five minutes that could be helpful rather than spend the next forty minutes or more, trying not to procrastinate and getting distracted by anything else. You don’t lose anything by trying and best case scenario, it works!
Four: Take care of yourself
It is very important and highly encouraged that you take care of yourself and your well-being. How? For starters, getting enough sleep every night (ideally between seven and eight hours) and by making sure you are drinking enough water and eating good, nutritious food to help with that brain power you’ll use later when you’re studying. Exercising or at least moving your body is not only great for your physical health, but it’s also an easy way to clear your mind and a good way of spending your study break. Whether that be by going on a short walk or even doing a ten minute workout video, it counts.
Five: Have a clean and organized study area
This one is probably a common tip you’ve heard before but it’s still a goodie. Having a clean and organized study area. Even if the only area in your room that is organized is your desk, it will help. For effective studying, many people find that having a designated workspace is key. Why? You can remove distractions, keep or have everything you need such as good lighting, you can eliminate distractions, and above all have a quiet place where you can actually get work done.
Six: Set binaural beats or listen to music that won’t distract you
If you’re the type of person who listens to music while you study, then it would be a good idea to select music that helps with concentration. Studies have shown that listening to binaural beats, nature sounds, and instrumental music can improve your focus and sets the tone for a good study session. Personally, I recommend listening to classical music, though music taste ranges drastically, therefore if you’re gonna listen to music while studying, ideally select music that encourages you to study and stay in the zone, rather than start your own dance party.
Seven: Take your video lecture notes on your phone
As a result of the pandemic, many professors have relied on video lectures. There are some pros to this as they allow students to revisit and revise what was discussed in class plus further add to the topic, however sometimes these lectures can often be long and take up a lot of time. If you are the type of person who takes notes during lectures, try taking notes on your phone, you can either use the notes apps, google doc app, or any other method. All you do is put your phone on airplane mode to avoid distracting notifications, watch your lecture, and begin texting/ typing your notes. This to an extent can also satisfy your need for using your phone.
Hopefully these tips and advice will further help you improve your studying, leading you down the path of passing all you’re exams. Studying and revising is a great way to prepare, though it should be done in moderate balance rather than intense cramming sessions. With that being said best of luck to everyone this finals season!