How I Survived Finals

Shineon

Before I tell you the whole procedure, I’d like to note that this quarter was one of the most important quarters in my college career (so far). The thing is, there is a certain GPA requirement to get admitted to the Psychology Major. It’s not very high, but various past circumstances have forced me to retake a class to raise the GPA. That wasn’t fun, obviously, but I will talk about that later sometime. The point is, raising the GPA takes a lot of effort, and this quarter was extremely stressful because of that, since my admission to the major depended on it.

I must say now that I did pretty well – scores above average, and good enough to raise the grades suitable for the admission. Three finals in a row wasn’t super fun, though, and it took me a lot of effort to get organized. Here’s what I did:

1. Create a study schedule and follow it.
I know this one is a little obvious, like you would have totally thought of that without me saying it for the millionth time. I’ve written a few posts about this, you can check them out here: How to Make a Study Plan Make a Study Guide.

2. Use every free minute.
I think my scores definitely had some room for improvement, and I definitely had enough time to study for it. My laziness and procrastion got in the way, unfortunately, and I now regret every minute I spent watching Gilmore Girls instead of studying.

3. Prepare your snacks!
I don’t know about you, but to me it seems like the more studying I have, the more hungry I get. Is it because I’m secretly bored or maybe my stomach is trying to distract me? I don’t know, but having some snacks and a cup of hot tea nearby creates a more comfortable and cozy setting for me.

4. Sleep.
Probably the most important thing you can do to get all your energy (large dozes of caffeine excluded). Most teenagers and adults need at least 8 hours of sleep every night, and not getting all of them takes a toll on your test performance. Here are some more posts about that: The True Value of SleepThe Power of Naps, No More All-Nighters

5. Actually study.
Here it is, the mistake that brought me to failure to many times. Just kidding, I’ve never failed any subject really, but I’ve definitely received scores below the ones I’ve expected. As easy as it sounds, studying doesn’t mean simply rereading the textbook or your notes. This quarter I tried to do all the practice problems assigned and quiz myself as much as possible. This technique is called active recall, which works when you retrieve the information from your memory so many times that it actually stays there. Read about it here: About Memorization. There are several Memory Techniques you can use to make the best of your study time as well.

How do you get through your finals week? Comment below!

Flashcards: Make ‘Em Right!

The other day I decided to sacrifice my Math Quiz Section in favor of three hours of pure study time for the finals. I must add, I do not regret this decision, as lately things with organization have been getting out of hand.

While studying for my upcoming Psychology final, which has just so many theories and hypotheses, I decided to go for making flashcards (these have some great advantages!) To make things a bit different this time, though, I put the definitions in my own words and added some comments relating to my life experiences, movies I’ve seen or songs I’ve heard. For example, one flashcard that came out looked like this:

aversion

From this experience, I realized that there are several things I need to do to make my flashcard-making time worth…my time. Because if you think about it, after spending hours (sometimes even days) drawing these up, how much do you actually study from them? I’ll be honest and say that I give up the second I put the pen down, thinking that making the flashcards was helpful by itself. So, if you are like me, I would suggest following these quick tips to remember more while  making flashcards:

1. paraphrase
1. Paraphrase
– always restate the key definitions in your own words. This is help you to actually think about the meaning of the words and remember them a bit better. Read more

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Multiple Choice Exams

Quick Tips for Answering Multiple Choice Questions

1. Read question and underline what it’s asking you.
2. Cover the answer choices (a, b, c, d) with your hand and try to answer the question yourself, without any help. Seeing the answer choices will just confuse and distract you.
3. Use the Process of Elimination: 
– Eliminate what is obviously a wrong answer
– Now only focus on what’s left. Now you won’t pay attention to the wrong answer choice and it won’t distract you anymore.

Note* Strongly-worded answer choices are rarely the right answer! See example on the picture :)

My econ professor told us a few of these- you still have to study, but these techniques makes it easier for you to find the right answer among all the wrong ones that distract you.

** If you have any more tips you’d like to share with us, Submit them to me and I will post them and credit you, of course, or comment below!