The Smart Way to Prepare for Finals

The Smart Way to Prepare for Finals

High school is already hard, but by the time finals roll around, you’re probably ready to sit down and take a break. Unfortunately, you still have to find a way to make it through your exams, which is not an easy process. So, to provide some support, Bring Change To Mind (BC2M) has compiled a short list of things you can do to get through your finals and manage your stress in a way that will make life a lot easier.

 

  1. Know your priorities and make a schedule. Keeping track of what material you need the most work on in each subject should be your first priority when preparing for finals. Know what days each of your finals are on so that you are aware of how much time you have to study for each of them. If one subject is harder than another, then give yourself more time to prepare for that final, while also allowing yourself to have at least a little time to prepare for subjects which you think you are better prepared in. Knowing your testing days will also allow you to be aware of which subjects you need to review the day before the test. Notice I said review and not cram.

 

  1. Maximize your schedule and take breaks. The time you spend preparing for finals should be composed of both studying and breaks. Whenever you feel the need to take a break after you’ve made some progress with your studying, you should do so. Feel free to stretch, drink some water, grab a snack, or go outside if you can, and avoid social media until you are officially done working for the day. If you need help breaking the habit of procrastination so that your break doesn’t go on for hours, then setting an alarm for when you will go back to studying may be an effective way to make good use of your time. Additionally, focusing on one or two subjects on a set of days versus studying for all your finals on the same day will help you keep track of what you’re learning as well as help you remember the material better.

 

  1. Self-care. This was briefly mentioned in my last point when I was talking about taking breaks while studying, but it is definitely the most important one to follow during such a stressful time. Self-care activities can include anything that supports your emotional and/or physical health. This can include going outside, talking to a friend, taking a nap, coloring, creating a gratitude list/writing a gratitude letter, etc. Despite there being a stigma around self-care, like it being said that it is a form of slacking or that the more you work and the less breaks you take means the larger the reward, this is all completely false. Actually, self-care not only reduces stress, but it also helps to prevent you from burning out as well as helps you refocus on the tasks at hand. Another common misconception is that you will do better on a test if you stay up all night and study versus sleeping through the night and waking up earlier in the morning to study. Believe it or not, but teenagers need at least 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep will make it harder to focus and learn in class and will definitely make it harder to concentrate or remember material during a test, so get your sleep!

Although finals week is tough, know that there are ways to make it easier. The best thing you can do for yourself now is to take advantage of these opportunities! If you want more information for how to prepare for finals or about BC2M, feel free to contact apapadopoulos@universityhighschool.org or aemkes@universityhighschool.org.

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