How to Have a Healthy and Productive Finals Week
I hope everyone’s enjoying the last few days before finals! It’s crazy to think that the semester is almost over because for me it feels like it just started. Today I’m going to go over a few tips for more efficient and impactful studying.
1.) Practice active studying
When I say practice active studying, I mean to actively engage in the material that you are learning. For example, it’s a lot more helpful to write things down rather than to type. When we write things down, we are forcing our brain to mentally engage and think about what we’re writing, rather than going on autopilot while typing. Another instance of active studying is to not just read things, but to interact with the material. For example, for technical classes, do practice problems. And for non-technical classes, there are a number of things that you can do to interact with the material. This includes creating a study guide, saying the information aloud if you are an auditory learner, studying with a friend and quizzing each other or explaining concepts to each other, or putting the information into your own words.
2.) Study in advance
Studying in advance isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially when you have lots of projects due before exams. But, it is very helpful if you can work in the time to do it. I personally try to start my studying at least a week in advance for big exams like finals. This allows me to refresh my memory and gives me time to see what I still don’t understand. Additionally, it helps me feel a lot less stressed the few days before finals because I know that I’ve spent adequate time preparing. I will say that there are times that I have not been able to study in advance, and have had to cram. While this is not ideal, one thing that helps me when I’m cramming is creating symbols that represent exam concepts. For example, I try to create an acronym that represents a few vocabulary words, as this helps me keep the terms organized. I also try to relate the terms to personal experiences so that they mean more to me. I’ve found that I’m much more likely to remember and have terms come to mind when I study like this.
3.) Have a healthy mindset
Aside from good study habits, it’s important to be in the right mindset to study. Feeling overwhelmed and stressed actually hinders your studying and you won’t be productive if you feel extremely stressed. Thus, it’s important to take breaks and study in small bursts. This will help you stay focused and feel motivated to study. I also recommend switching up the scenery and studying in different locations. This will help you feel refreshed and engaged in your studying.
Something that I really try to do, especially when I start my studying a week in advance, is to not study when I’m not in the mood and can’t get into the zone. But instead to really lean into the times that I am motivated to study. I’m more productive when I’m in the mood to get work done, so I recommend taking advantage of this. And when you’re not in the mood, don’t force yourself to do work unless you have to because you’re not likely to be productive. To help you stay in a productive mood, I recommend getting fresh air and eating healthy foods. Whether this is going for a run or walk, or even sitting outside, getting fresh air will help you clear your mind. And eating healthy foods will help you keep your energy up during exams and will help you to be more productive. Both of these things will help your mental and physical health during exams.
I hope some of these tips were helpful and that you are able to implement them into your finals week. Please reach out if you have any additional tips that work well for you when studying, or if you know of any other ways to keep a positive mindset.
Good luck on exams everyone!
Written by: Kara Lehner
Kara is the Communications Associate in The Women’s Network. She is a sophomore and is a part of the Communications Committee. Kara is also a member of Run Club, Net Impact, and CLD at IU. In her free time she loves to run, bike, kayak and go to the beach!
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share any advice!