Finals Survival Tips
The fall semester is coming to an end, and that means finals, projects and papers. Finals and midterms can leave some students feeling under pressure. With a few simple steps, you can make conscious decisions to manage your stress during finals and beyond.
Create an Action Plan
Creating a study and work plan and sticking to it will ensure you have enough time to complete each task. Last minute cramming for an exam is never the most effective way to prepare. In addition, waiting until the day before to finish a term paper or final project will reduce the amount of time for proofreading.
Go to Bed
Spending the entire evening reading or reviewing your lecture notes may seem like a good idea, but it will make it harder for you to focus during the exam. While it is fine to review materials the night before an exam, it is best to do it while you are wide awake and more likely to remember the material reviewed. Be sure to give yourself enough sleep before the exam to allow your brain to rest, and you will have better information recall during the actual exam.
Eat and Drink More than Sugar
One of the most noticeable benefits of a balanced diet is energy. Keeping your body fueled with the right proportions of vitamins, minerals and nutrients can give you the energy you need to make the most of your day. Healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetable and legumes are slow to digest, keeping blood sugar and insulin levels on an even keel for a steady supply of energy throughout the day.
External distractions include things like noise, people talking, TV, music, phone alerts and anything else that diverts your attention from the task at hand. Internal distractions like hunger, fatigue, illness, stress, worries and other distracting thoughts (things you should be doing instead, things you’d rather be doing, etc.) can interrupt your concentration as much as external distractions.
Take a Break
Even if you have multiple finals in one day or several of the course of two days, trying to study straight through without a break is going to leave you exhausted. Take a nap, call a friend, go for a walk, take a fitness class or meditate – whatever you need to do to take a mental break and recharge before you plow through the next stack of books and notes. Remember, you worked hard through the semester, so don’t ruin that with a mental breakdown now.