Cramming for Finals
It is getting close to Final Exam time, which means that students are cracking down and opening up books to study. It is always important to start studying early, and concentrating on the classes that are the hardest; however, if you have put it off to the last minute here are some successful strategies for last minute cramming:
1. Divide up your time: Estimate and limit your time concentrating on each class. That way you have time to concentrate on each class individually.
2. Take Frequent Breaks: Take breaks to make it easier for you to understand the material; however, you want to limit your time to 5-10 minutes so that you’re not getting so distracted that you don’t study.
3. Stay alert: Exercising gets the blood moving and keeps you relaxed and alert. Do some short bursts of jogging or jumping jacks. Smelling cinnamon and peppermint can help you stay alert. However, if none of these work there is always caffeine, which aids in mental alertness, but be careful not to drink so much that you crash. There are healthy forms of caffeine you can ingest- apples, tea, and coffee.
4. Use memory tricks: There are a few tricks that will help you to remember your information. Writing the information you need and then rewriting it can help when you are writing on a test- it might even make it so that you can “see” the information when you close your eyes during an exam. Memorize cheat sheets- even when they are not allowed in classes they can help give hints. Mind Maps- using more creativity can help to get the information to stick. Things such as color coding, pictures, and cross linking information will help improve your mind map. Embellishing stories – creating stories can help you to remember key phrases or terms on a test, because they are usually stories that relate to who you are and what you enjoy.
5. Study Selectively: Deciding which information is most important is a helpful study technique you will use throughout college. Concentrating on facts and ideas that your teacher highlights or focuses on in class will help you when taking the exam. Determine the important definitions, concepts, and equations and make note cards that you can use while walking in-between classes, and other quick free moments. There are websites such as Study Blue that allow you to create online flash cards and sometimes even use other student’s previous flash cards for success.
6. Concentrate on your learning style: Everyone has different styles that help them learn best, and those can be the key to success. Auditory, Kinesthetic, and Visual are the three styles. Each style can help an individual study effectively and better retain information.
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