How To: Totally Ace Your Final Exams - Part 1

               Well, hello there, beautiful people! I'm sure that Thanksgiving break was a very much needed break for most of yo...

               Well, hello there, beautiful people! I'm sure that Thanksgiving break was a very much needed break for most of you; it sure was for me. But unfortunately, the semester isn't over yet (even though it's so close to being over) and most of us college kids still have final exams to worry about. I know... it sucks to think about. But worry not! After a few semesters of being pretty clueless when it came to finals, I have finally been able to come up with a list (which I've broken up into two parts) of study tips to help avoid freaking out over finals.I know that these tips won't really apply to everyone because different people have different methods of studying, but these have helped me out tremendously and I hope they can do the same for you!

Take a deep breath. 
I know, I know. You just got back from Thanksgiving break and now finals are just around the corner and all of your final projects, papers, and presentations are due right before your final exams. The stress is normal for everyone. What's important is remembering to breathe and relax. You've got this. You didn't sit through all of those lectures to start falling back now! 

Talk to your professor if you need help. 
Your professor will most likely have office hours that will be listed on the syllabus the first day of class. Take advantage of that. Your professors are there to help you, and if they can't, there are TAs (Teaching Assistants) that you can talk to. I used to be content with not knowing everything on an exam (and even now, I'm not going to flip out over getting a couple questions wrong), but if you want to make sure you know all the material that's going to be on the exam, nothing is going to stop you but you. Don't be afraid to go see your professor and ask questions. 

Start studying for your exams wisely. 
This means studying for your first exam before you start studying for the rest of your exams (basically, studying in order of your class schedule). If you have an exam on Monday, start studying for that one first, leaving time throughout the rest of finals week to do some quick studying on the rest of your exams. Of course, if your first final is an easy exam, you don't have to stay up all hours of the night preparing for it. If one of your later finals is more difficult than your first one, take more time studying on that one. 

Get a study buddy. (Whoo! Party!)
I actually prefer to study on my own most of the times, but those times when I have had a study buddy were incredibly efficient! Sometimes, two heads definitely work better than one. The great thing about having a study buddy is that there's a chance they might know some of the material that you may have not been able to figure out. Similarly, you might know something that someone else doesn't know. 

Read through your notes after class. 
I remember taking a psychology course a couple years ago and my professor told me that rereading your notes after every class helps your brain retain information you just learned. I didn't think this would work at all, but then I actually tried it and trust me, it helps. I can't tell you how many times I've stayed up all night studying for an exam because I basically had to reteach myself all the material. Seriously, try it. It only takes a couple of minutes and you'll thank yourself for doing it. Ever since I started doing this, I can nearly cut my study time in half!

Don't study in your room, if possible. 
If you're someone who can stay really focused for long periods of time, then I applaud you. I'm also jealous of you because I can't do that. There are way too many distractions in my room for me to finish anything that can't be done in about an hour. My suggestion is to find a good study place on campus (or in your residence hall or whatever place is convenient for you). If you're someone who gets distracted easily, try going to the library or the student center (the student center at my school is always packed during the day, so I always go at night). Find out where the quiet spaces are around campus and make that your go-to study spot. 

Find a study method that works for you and stick to it. 
For this one, I can only tell you what I do. I find it super effective to take it back to kindergarten and use flash cards. I've used them for every exam since my freshman year of college and they never fail me. This is a great method of studying when your exam consists of a lot of difficult terminology. I also find that pacing around a room while studying from time to time helps me retain information. Again, this may not work for everybody. If you have your own way of studying, then by all means, do you boo! But if not, give this a try and see if it helps. 

That's all for part one of How To: Totally Ace Your Final Exams; I'll be posting part two for this blog next week. I really hope these tips helped some of you guys and I wish you all good luck on your final exams!

With love from your girl, 

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