Back to College- 10 Tips to Study for Finals

Hello everyone, today I have my ninth post in my back to college series. Today’s post includes 10 of my best studying tips to use during finals week. Finals are incredibly important because they can make or break your grade. In college, most finals are worth 30-40% of your grade so it is crucial that you do well.

So let’s get into it.

The first three tips are things you can do during the year to make finals week easier on yourself:

1.) Go to class. 

This is the best tip that I can give you and possibly the easiest one to do. Simply going to class will give you the best chance of actually learning the material. The professor will do everything they can to ensure that you pass the class but it is your job to be there to receive the information.

Even if you can’t make it to class (it happens), try and get a friend to give you their notes from that day so you don’t fall too behind.

2.) Do the reading. 

I am guilty of never doing class readings on time (who has time to read 200 pages?!) but it is a great way to get a leg up in the class. Professors know that very few people actually do the reading so they tend to pull questions from the reading to give the readers a greater advantage.

Even if you can’t do the reading on time, try and read as much as you can before the final. This doesn’t mean just sitting and reading the whole book, it is okay to only read the summaries of each chapter.

My best recommendation is to try to answer the questions provided at the end of each chapter. Many of my professors used these practice problems as test questions so it was really nice to already know how to answer them.

3.) Take good notes. 

Everyone learns differently and it is important that you take notes in a way that is digestible for you. If you learn through pictures, add images and diagrams to your notes that help you understand the information better. If you learn from listening, record your professor’s lectures to listen to at a later date (be sure to get permission first).

One of my best tips is to have two notebooks for each class. One that can be used during class (and can be messy and filled with random doodles and scribbles) and one that can be used for after class to highlight the important items in a more organized fashion.

The next 7 tips are things to do during finals week to help you study and do well.

4.) Schedule your study time. 

If you know you only really need to study for 3 of your classes, schedule out the time to study for each one. By allocating the time to study, you will ensure that you don’t have to cram minutes before because you had an event to go to.

This also will prevent you from missing out on time with your friends before you are unable to see them for a few months.

5.) Utilize your study time. 

While it is important to give yourself enough time to study for each final, it is more important that you use that time wisely. If you allocate time to study, do your best to stay off of your phone or computer and actually study. It is better to study for 20 minutes while focusing the whole time than “studying” for 5 hours while you were multitasking on Instagram.

This also means you don’t do anything else while studying. If you want to eat, eat then study. If you need to drive somewhere, drive then study. If you need to sleep, sleep then shower. Don’t try to multitask because it will limit how much information you actually retain.

6.) Audio-notes. 

This is probably one of my best study hacks of all time. I have recommended it to so many people and everyone has loved it.

Take the most important parts of your notes and record them as an audio note on your phone. Then listen to it while you walk to class, workout and before you go to bed. This will help get the information into your brain subconsciously without you having to do any extra work.

This is great for language classes or any class that requires your to remember vocab words.

7.) Avoid the library. 

Y’all, the library is NOT a good place to study during finals week. People will stay in there for HOURS without eating, sleeping or showering. This is not effective by any means because you won’t retain the information and you’ll smell nasty.

The library is also going to be packed with people during the week so it will not be the quiet, calm place you need while you study.

8.) Use your friends’ notes.

One of the easiest ways to study is to trade notes with your friends. Each person takes notes differently and might write down different things. By having another person’s notes, you are giving yourself a new perspective on the information. You might even gain a deeper understanding of the class itself.

9.) Teach someone what you’ve learned. 

If you are in a class with many complex concepts, this might be the best tip for you. Ask someone who is not in the class to listen to you teach them the concept. If you are able to successfully explain the information to them, you have a good handle on the concept. If not, they will be able to point out any gaps in the information and show you what you don’t know.

This also is great for them because you’re teaching them something new!

10.) Use office hours. 

If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that I rarely did this when I needed. However, it is incredibly useful to utilize the hours. When you go to these hours, make sure you have prepared any questions or concerns that you have about the material. This way, the professor knows exactly what to go over with you.

If you are struggling to understand the information in the way your professor explains it, try going to an SI or tutor to get your questions answered.

That concludes my 9th post in my Back to College series. I hope this helps you do well on your finals and I will see you tomorrow with the last post!

What are your best study tips? Share them in the comments below to spread the success!

Lots of love,

Ellie

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*Disclaimer: some of the links above are affiliate links that will benefit me in some way. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to ask down below.

Have a burning college question? Ask it in the comments below or on any of my social media accounts. You may even see it become a post!

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