Finals Tips: Tips for Studying

Matt Murphy –

It is that time of semester again where students are staying up a countless number of hours to finish big projects, or when students are studying for their big finals. Stress levels are very high around final time. Even though finals are stressful, there are many things that students can do to better cope with finals.

  1. Go over old tests: Depending on your professor, some of them will take questions right off old tests (either if they tell you directly or you just have to find out) or have problems very similar to the old test questions. If professors do not take questions off of the old tests directly, the old tests provide good practice for the final exam. If you are pressed on time to try and study all finals, look at the test problems in particular that you struggled with on the test.
  2. Study in big groups: Higher level classes may contain ideas that are very abstract. If you are struggling on a certain topic, like IR spectra in Organic Chemistry, try getting a group together to study. Chances are, maybe there is somebody that knows IR spectra like the back of their hand.
  3. Look for IC’s quietest places: If you are somebody who prefers to study by themselves, look for quiet places on campus that offer little distractions from noises. Some great places to go to study by yourself are the rooms in Parker, Kirby, and Bruner. The library is also a great place to study, but there may be large groups studying for a challenging exam. If you can not find a place that does not block out all sounds, invest in either ear plugs or ear mugs to reduce unwanted noises.
  4. Start early and study in small increments: Start studying days in advance. If you decide to do this, this gives you more time in studying for classes. Not only that, you can devote a small amount of time to all subjects in one day. This will also give you more time to go over more challenging classes and to get a better nights rest.
  5. Get a good night’s rest: Make sure you get the proper amount of sleep. It is really tempting to stay up and cram the night before, but your brain needs an adequate amount of time to rest and get that information registered in your mind.
  6. Take a break: When studying, everyone gets tired and loses motivation to study. Do something that takes your mind off studying for a bit. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress as it releases chemicals that make you feel better. Can you handle the steam room and sauna in Bruner? These are really great for de-stressing as these two release toxins out of your body and are good for warding off colds and other respiratory illnesses that may be a result from too much stress.
  7. Read from each chapter: Let’s say you have put in a lot of hours studying chapters from the beginning of the semester and feel that you will get prefects on these. But then you realize that you missed a lot of questions from later chapters. To have a more balanced review of all chapters, after you have worked a problem in one chapter, work on a problem from a different chapter and so on and so forth. Once you have done at one problem from every chapter, start the cycle all over again.
  8. Eat a well-balanced diet: Make sure you get your fair share of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals that combat with stress. Although it sounds really tempting, avoid soda. Even though it has caffeine, but also has other unwanted side effects that you will regret later.


I hope these tips help! Happy studying and good luck studying!


Matthew Murphy, from Girard, Illinois, is a junior majoring in Biology with a Mathematics minor. Matthew is the president of Parker After Dark, and participates in Cross Country and Track and Field.


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