Finding Success in Final Exams
By Katie Travlos
Finals are a hard time for most students in college. These last exams of the semester are the final stretch of what seems to be an extremely stressful and strenuous time. Here are four tips and tricks to help finals go as smoothly and stress-free as possible.
- Don’t cram for the exam!
It is extremely important to study for multiple days leading up to the exam. Cramming for exams has been scientifically proven to not make students as successful as they would be by studying for days prior. It is not possible to study all of the material taught across a semester one day before the exam. Studying for multiple days allows for knowledge to be collected and more fully understood making the brain ready for application-based questions on the final.
- Sleep is just as important as studying!
Sleeping after studying allows knowledge and memories to move from short-term memory to long-term memory through REM sleep. REM sleep, also known as rapid eye movement sleep, occurs around ninety minutes after falling asleep. This stage of sleep stimulates the areas of the brain associated with learning and memory. If students do not sleep after studying and pull all-nighters, the knowledge ‘learned’ will not move into long-stage memory and will likely not be readily available during the exam. Thus, sleep is extremely important for learning and studying for finals!
- Eat healthily and drink enough water.
It is very important to eat healthily and drink an adequate amount of water when studying for finals. Remember, your brain is an organ and needs to be fueled with nutrition in order to function. Eating saturated fatty foods or not eating at all will not prepare your brain for the work it has to accomplish for success in final exams.
- Take care of yourself and your mental health.
Decreasing stress and anxiety is important when trying to accomplish goals. Implementing self-care activities and acknowledging the importance of mental health will help lead students toward academic success. Remember to give yourself brain breaks when studying and to reward yourself for small as well as big goals accomplished.