This is an advice column from UPost. We take in advice from anything relating to school to friends and to existential crises. Don’t worry, this is completely anonymous so send in whatever you want (but inappropriate messages will be deleted). Thanks, Hank
by Olivia Hakes
Finals week can be stressful, especially if you don’t know how to prepare for them. Here are a few helpful tips that can help you get the best grade possible.
- Make a study guide
One of the best ways you can prepare for a test is to make your own study guide. Your teachers won’t always give you one, and it’s always beneficial to lay out all the information in one place that you can access easily. Review your notes, power points, and papers from the class, and put it all on one document. After you think you have everything, ask a classmate (who isn’t struggling in the class) and your teacher to look over it and ask if you missed anything. This shows that you are trying to do your best to prepare, which makes your teacher more inclined to help you. Everyone is a different learner, but bullet points, color coding, and bolding words always can help you remember different concepts.
It is imperative to get a good night’s sleep before you take your test the next day. Staying up all night studying isn’t always the best plan. The chance is, if you take your test half-asleep, your brain isn’t working at the highest efficiency that it could. This makes it easier to forget something or misremember facts you studied for. I always tell myself, because I’ve had several weeks to prepare for this test, if I don’t know the information at this point, then I’m not in good shape anyway.
- Don’t stress
There’s absolutely no reason why you should fail this test, so keep your head up. Don’t go into this test thinking that you’ll get a bad grade. If you’ve put in the time an effort studying, then you shouldn’t bother yourself with unnecessary stress. We all know stress isn’t good for you, so in between studying make sure you take breaks, breathe, and remember to be confident.
- Meet with your teacher
If there is a concept that you don’t understand don’t be afraid to ask questions. I know what some of you might be thinking – you don’t want to ask questions because you don’t want your teacher to think that “you should already know this by now.” Trust me, I’ve been there, but asking questions will do more good than harm. You can’t ask teachers to reteach the entire semester, but schedule time to talk to them and ask them questions about the test material.
- Have a study group
When studying for finals, it never hurts to study with classmates. This way you can collaborate with each other and share notes. Your classmates might have something to say that you forgot would be on the test. It’s easy to get distracted when studying, so make sure that you surround yourself with people who will help you.
- Watch it, learn it, teach it
The “watch it, learn it, teach it” method has proved to be beneficial on a wide variety of topics. For example, if there is a math problem you don’t know how to do, watch someone do it (correctly), and figure out where you went wrong. Continue this method until you understand it enough to explain it to someone else.
- Eat well
Eating healthy will make you feel good, so make sure you don’t walk into the test on an empty stomach. Hydration is also important when taking a test for a long period of time. Chewing gum or having a mint in your mouth when taking a test has also been proven to help stimulate brain activity.
- “It’s just a test, don’t overthink it.”
- “Dress nice, because when I feel good, I do good.”
- “I always like to use the finals calculator so that I can determine what grade I have to get on the test in order to get an A in the class.”
- “Create a personalized schedule to organize the tasks at hand.”
- “Review your notes right before the test so they’re fresh in your mind.”
- “Make flash cards, handwriting something helps the brain remember better.”
- “Hydration helps you stay awake.”
- “If you have a good grade in the class, don’t study as much for that final.”
- “It won’t matter in 10 years from now, so don’t stress too much.”