Resource Outreach: Top Tips to Prepare for Finals

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  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Plan a reward for AFTER finals. Focus on it throughout your study sessions.
  12. Ask God to inspire your teachers to match their tests with your knowledge. 

YOU will succeed!

If you are not succeeding, contact me at jbiller@stfrancishs.org or stop by Room 314.

Mrs. Biller
Resource Specialist
Educational Achievement Specialist