How to do well on your finals.
.*Image courtesy of Sunny's Picasa
Struggling in college? Need to do better on your finals? Well look no further! These are the methods I used to go from a B-C student to an A-B student!
Things You Will NeedYou will of course need study materials such as the book for the class, class notes, and a study partner all really help. Other than that you just need some plain common sense!
Step 1So this step is simple enough. When registering for classes people tend to fill their schedules and ignore reason. My first year at school I took about 18-19 hours of classes each semester. But to graduate on time I only needed to take 15! That was about 3 extra hours (or 1 class) that I didn't even need to take! If you just take the minimum amount of classes to graduate then you can reduce the difficulty and stress to a more manageable level.
Step 2Now I know you are probably thinking, duh I will go to class. But if you have taken a college class before you know how difficult it can be some times. Many professors don't take attendance, their classes are boring, and they are often early in the morning. It might be tempting to skip class but studies show that going to class can increase your retention rate for the subject matter which greatly increases your chances at a good grade!
Step 3Scheduling time to study is very important. Most people leave studying up to the whims of their social life. They like to study a week before the test and don't leave enough room in their schedules for the appropriate studies. I try to schedule at least an hour outside of class for every hour I spend in class. That means if I have class on Monday for an hour then that night I will have another hour to study the days materials. By doing this and keeping it up through out the semester you can be well prepared before a test comes around. I also suggest that on top of your scheduled study time each week you get closer to an exam you spend an additional hour on the weekends reviewing material from past lectures etc to make sure you don't forget too much from the beginning of your class.
Step 4A lot of people believe cramming to be a bad thing. I on the other hand do not consider it to be all bad. If all you do is cramming it can be detrimental to your grade. With all the studying you have been doing from the previous step you should be well prepared for the upcoming test, but what I suggest you do is to take a few days before the test to review as much as possible by making your own test. By writing your own questions you can reaffirm your mastery of the subject. Then the night before the test I suggest you "cram" by taking your own test and seeing how well you do (make sure you do write your own test a few days before so you can forget the answers). Make sure to not cheat and to not stay up too late taking your test, a good nights sleep is important too.
Step 5Make sure to wake up early, but get a full nights sleep, and eat breakfast (it really is the most important meal of the day!). Get to the examination room plenty of time before hand and make sure you brought the necessary supplies such as pencils. Take the time you are in the exam room before the test starts to look around the room, find a good seat, and calm yourself. Here is where there are a couple of options;
1. You may go over the test material but try to do it casually so as to not stress yourself out.
2. Read a book for pleasure, do a crossword puzzle or a sudoku, anything to keep your mind engaged and ready to take a test, but something that won't put you on edge worrying about the test.
When the test starts just remember to take your time, you should know this material. The only thing that can stop you know are stupid mistakes, mistakes made because you are going too fast and not thinking about each question. When you are done taking the test I suggest you take how ever much time is left in the examination to review your answers, but only go over them once. Reviewing your answers is a good idea but the more often you look at them the more likely you are to change something and most of the time your initial answer will be the right one.
Remember that going to class and studying throughout the semester are the most important things and you will do fine come finals. Rest and being calm are the two most important things come test day and also remember to not over think your answers and review them too much. Best of luck, I know you can all make top marks!