Resource Outreach: Top Tips to Prepare for Finals
- Preparation is related to a realistic understanding of what you can control and what you cannot. You can control eating, sleeping, attitude, work ethic, organization, and time management for finals.
- Eat brain foods including those high in omega 3 fatty acids (ex. salmon), foods that are high in antioxidants (ex. blueberries), and foods with choline (ex. eggs).
- Do not drink excessive caffeine. This creates dehydration. The brain must remain fully hydrated to function fully. Side effect: what goes up must come down. Worse than a sugar high/low.
- Do drink a moderate amount of caffeine (2 or 3 cups). Coffee and tea stimulate the brain and are researched to have a positive impact upon memory, focus and mood.
- Create a healthy sleep pattern and maintain it. You cannot make up for lost sleep the next day/night. Your brain is trained to be active during your normal waking hours. It is counterproductive to study into your sleeping hours. It takes 7 to 9 hours of sleep to optimally transfer short term knowledge to long term memory.
- Give yourself an attitude check. Are you overemphasizing the importance of finals? Are you allowing finals to give you out-of-proportion anxiety? Informal research shows students’ marks will rise or drop up to 3% after finals. Note: do not use online calculations for what percent you need to get a grade. It will not calculate your course’s weighted grading.
- Work ethic = determination to put in the correct amount of hours to accomplish a task. Clear your calendar from December 3rd through December 20th. A quick way to “gain time” is to get off social media. Create a time management plan. Split each hour of study into 45 minutes of intense focus and 15 minutes of break time.
- Organize. When in doubt, throw it out. Organize the area you will use to study for finals, organize your backpack, organize your papers, and organize your locker. Create a finals binder with tabs for each subject assessed. Put papers in reverse order: most recent on top. Organize online file folders of SF Quizlets (you may be surprised how many study guides for finals are online in the SF Quizlet Library.
- Organize a study group for each study guide. Divide what needs to be studied. Create a shared document, and give deadlines for completion. Have each member of the group create a practice test. Focus on commonly created questions. They will be related to key concepts.
- Divide information from each completed study guide into three sections: I know this, I know some of this, I need tutoring. Do NOT study what you already know.
- Plan a reward for AFTER finals. Focus on it throughout your study sessions.
- Ask God to inspire your teachers to match their tests with your knowledge.
YOU will succeed!
If you are not succeeding, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by Room 314.
Educational Achievement Specialist