Finals week is quickly approaching and if everyone is like me, it is an extremely stressful time. I am sure I am not the only one who feels like pulling a dozen all nighters is the only ways to conquer the increasing amount of studying it will take to pull off a decent grade.
We all have our own remedies for how to survive an all night cram session. My freshman year mine consisted of locking myself in a room with energy drinks, a ton of chocolate, and my textbooks of course. I remember literally wanting to pull my hair out as I tried to conquer the mountain of textbooks, study guides, and lecture notes I had accumulated over the semester. Surprisingly though, those dreadful days are over. I have come up with a few ways to avoid having to study through the late night hours. Here are a few tips to stay on top of everything and get a restful night sleep before being bombarded by tests.
The best way to avoid an all night cram session is to incorporate careful planning into your daily life. We have about three weeks before the chaos of finals hits. So start planning your study sessions now. The worse thing you could do is, wait until the weekend before finals to look over your notes. You may not have a study guide yet, but I am sure your instructor has given you some indicators of what is going to be on the final. Break your lecture notes up into sections. Study a different section each day for about twenty minutes. That way the week before finals you can just do a light review to keep the information fresh in your mind.
I know I have had a few classes where definitions are the most important part of the entire class. I am sure you science students know what I am talking about. An easy way to study definitions without flipping through flash cards, until your eyes bleed, is to write out the definitions and post them around your home. Recite the definition when you see it. Come up with catchy phrases for the definitions you are having a hard time remembering.
Type it out.
A great way to keep information fresh in your mind is to type it up. Rather then continually skimming through your lecture notes, take the time to type them. This exercise will ensure that you are reading through all of your notes, instead of subconsciously focusing on a few key subjects. An added bonus is having well organized notes to review a few minutes before the final test is handed out.
These strategies have helped me stay on top of my studies and avoid spending hours at a time with my head in a textbook. With careful planning and discipline an all night study session can be avoided.