The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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10 tips to survive finals

Finals week is always a hectic time for college students. While some rely on flash cards, study groups and notes, there are those who in desperate times resort to osmosis. So, in an effort to make this stressful week go as smoothly as possible, here are some tips that might help you out, a sort of “Finals Week for Dummies” guide.

1) Ask for Help. The learning resource center offers free tutoring to students in various subjects, and their services will be available through next week. During finals week, however, they will only be available for tutoring in writing. The learning resource center also has consultants available to offer studying strategy techniques, but you have to make an appointment.

2) Start early. Ideally, you should have been reviewing your notes and homework all semester to avoid cramming the night before the final. However, since most college students do not abide by this rule, you should try to start studying at least one week in advance.

3) Know what to study. Some finals are cumulative and will cover material from the entire semester, while others focus only on recent material. If the test is cumulative, be sure to study old tests and notes. Most professors will let you know what will be covered on the exam. If you do not know what material will be covered, ask your professor.

4) Know the type of test. This is important to know because there are different ways to study for different types of tests. For a multiple choice or true/false test, you may have to know specific details, which requires paying more attention when studying. For an essay test, you will have to study topics in a broader sense because you will have to be more analytical. By this time, you should have a good idea on how the professor tests – for instance, whether the tests are based on the lectures, the textbook or both, so the final should not be too different from your midterm exam.

5) Be realistic. You should check what the final is worth in each course. Remember, it is only one component of your final grade. If it is worth 20 percent or less, you probably will not be able to bring your final grade up or down by more than one grade level (e.g., B to B+), unless you perform extremely better or worse than you have on other exams and assignments during the semester.

6) Manage your time. Make sure you give yourself enough time to take breaks while studying. It is easy to get burned out on studying if you do it for six hours straight.

7) Pick a place to study. A good studying environment will allow you to better retain information, so pick a place that is conducive to your needs. The library is a good place to study, but this atmosphere may be too quiet for some. For those of you who like comfort while studying, try to stay clear of your bed. You don’t want to get too comfortable and fall asleep.

8) Study your way. This is perhaps the most important tip. You have been in school long enough to know which form of studying works best for you. Some people learn most efficiently by reading, some by listening, and some by writing. Just remember that repetition is key.

9) Get enough sleep. Be sure to get plenty of sleep and eat healthy during this stressful week. If you stay up late and eat junk food, your brain will not have enough energy to function to its fullest capacity.

10) Let it go! Finals can be overwhelming but once the exam is over, forget about it! Move on to the next one, or go enjoy the break!

Finals week can be chaotic but hopefully these tips will help you tame the monster.

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