As the semester winds down to a close, students are faced with the one hurdle that can make the month of December daunting: finals. Finals can be intimidating, especially for underclassmen who are only granted one exemption for the semester or those who must achieve a certain grade to maintain the letter grade they desire. Students have collected notes, worksheets and quizzes throughout the semester, and the astounding amount of papers will most likely cause anyone to panic. Fortunately there are several steps that can be taken to ensure that preparing for finals and taking the test will be calm and stress free.
Studying as a Team or Individually
Reviewing material from the beginning of the year is one of the best ways to study for a semester exam in any class. Not only will this technique refresh skills that one may have become rusty with, but looking at the skills again may even provide clarification for information that was confusing when it was originally learned. This technique is helpful, but must be carried out in the proper environment in order to achieve maximum success. A student must determine if they study best with a group, where ideas can be bounced off one another in a didactic style, or individually, where one’s problem solving skills are heavily relied upon. Determining this aspect will lead to a more fulfilled experience.
Place is Key
In addition to being sure that one places themselves in the proper social environment, physical enviroment can also make a big difference in the success of preparing for an exam. Studying in the comfort of home is a place where students study, but one should designate a quiet study area away from distractions to concentrate. Libraries, such as the Cinco Ranch Branch Library, across from Cinco Ranch High School, will also provide an environment for quiet studying. For those who need to be out of the house and away from common distractions found there or want to join friends to study, Starbucks or First Cup Cafe may be places to consider going for a drink, free wifi and time to focus. One must know their concentration level and chose a place that best fits their needs.
Exams will often creep up onto students who avoid studying or become too caught up in other activities and completely forget that the exam date is so close. Cramming for the exam the night before is not the best strategy, for one will most likely be tired and stressed the next day. Therefore, one must plan ahead and block out time to study for exams several days ahead of time. This method will allow one to study different sections of material in depth and then bring together all of the concepts studied for the exam the night before it takes place. Scheduling study time will leave one less stressed and make studying easier.
Preparing the Night Before
Cramming the night prior to the final and staying up late are actions that should be avoided, for they usually lead to a poor performance the following day. Instead, one should choose only a few concepts that they need further clarification on to review, pack up their backpack prior to going to bed and go to bed at a decent hour. Students will then be able to wake refreshed in the morning and be ready to go out the door without worries as to where their papers or supplies are located.
Attitude is Everything
The final tip to achieve success on finals day is to have a positive attitude. The mindset that one has while preparing for the exam, the morning of the exam, and while taking the exam can shape how one performs on the final. A negative attitude may hinder performance and make taking the exam a chore. In contrast, positive thoughts will often boost confidence, and may even lead to a better score as the student will be calm and well prepared. Encouraging oneself and believing that success is possible can have a beneficial effect on the preparation and taking of a final and should be evident at all times.