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Working on homework with pizza and coffee

23 tips for acing finals

Functioning during finals

  1. Sleep – don’t underestimate its power! Sleep deprivations leads to reduced memory, leaves you more frazzled, less energy and a vicious cycle of inefficiency.
  2. Go to class. Don’t skip class! Professors are leading you to water.
  3. Don’t focus solely on the textbook. The professor is likely to elaborate in class on topics if they’re relevant enough to appear on the exam. Pay close attention to what he or she focuses on in the classroom or in assignments.
  4. Use every study day efficiently: Plan ahead and set aside time for breaks to let your brain rest.
  5. Create one schedule for study days, one to prepare you for essays, and one to prepare for final exams. Make it visual and organized. Figure out your finals schedule in advance and know when your tests are.
  6. Don’t overwhelm yourself with the whole enchilada, but chip away at individual tasks (papers, tests). Just START.
  7. Have paper-writing anxiety? Don’t know where to begin? Do a Mind Dump (i.e. brainstorm) on the paper and clean it up later. The Writing Center is a great and free resource, as well as office hours with your professor.
  8. Set two alarms the day of the final exam!
  9. Back up everything to Google docs or flash drive WHEN you’re working on papers and projects. Computers have a way of crashing during finals. (And of getting stolen or spilled on.)
  10. Microsoft OneDrive is a great program that you can access from the Internet anywhere! Save a document to OneDrive and it will save and sync automatically.
  11. On that note, don’t leave your computer unattended anywhere. Bad things can happen.
  12. Where’s your happy place to study? Have that in mind and a few alternates in place. Avoid stressful areas for studying where you will run into equally stressed peers (stress is contagious). Here are some ideas: • Valley Library • Interzone Coffee • Starbucks • Corvallis Library on Monroe • The Beanery
  13. Fill your stomach! Have oatmeal, granola bars or fruit on hand in case you don’t have time to eat. BUT it’s best to take care of your physical health and make time to eat.
  14. Drink tons of water. And juice!
  15. Go to bed early. Rise early.
  16. Know when your brain is tapped out. Schedule breaks and don’t cut out sleep. Hammer away at it for an hour and take a 10-minute break.
  17. Get dinner/Grab coffee with a friend
  18. Stick with your routine. Do you always hit the gym on Wednesday nights? Don’t skip it to study. Prioritize your overall health and happiness.
  19. Take a social media “time out” by deactivating during finals. Use your break time to SEE the REAL world with your healthy eyes! Plus does seeing someone else on their summer break already really make you feel better about the fact that you still have 3 exams to get through? #stupidinstagram
  20. Divide and conquer with an effective study group.
  21. Re-read all your notes from the class if they were good and/or re-read the PowerPoint’s. Memorize it by rewriting it on a separate sheet of paper in your own words. Quiz yourself on it. Have study group members quiz you on it. #Flashcards
  22. If you have time and are still anxious, create a short study guide on the “must knows” for that class that’s no more than a few pages long.
  23. Attend professor’s study sessions and pay attention. Ask thoughtful questions. Make sure they know your name by the time you walk into the final. They want you to succeed!

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