Studying for finals can be a stressful time. Reviewing an entire semester’s worth of information for all of your classes in a short period of time can be nerve racking and extremely difficult given the high-pressure situation. However, there are many ways for someone to help themselves study for exams to minimize stress and maximize scores.
First, start studying well before the given final takes place. For example, if you have a test on Friday start studying on at least the Monday or Tuesday preceding the test so you can go over everything a few times and get to all the last details. By giving yourself more time to study, you can become more aware of what topics you have difficulty with and concentrate on them and you can be sure to avoid any last minute cramming.
If you can find a study partner it would be wise to take advantage of the opportunity. Studying with a friend gives you a chance to not only study material, but also actively talk about it with someone. Talking about the material will force you to put the information into your own words and will help commit it to memory. Furthermore, it is often easier to start studying when you’re doing it with someone else. By having someone studying with you, it’s more difficult to keep putting the study session off.
There are things you can do that aren’t directly related to studying that can help with your tests as well. Living a healthy lifestyle leading up to the exams will give you a sharper, clearer mind when it comes time to take your tests. Be sure to get to bed early and get plenty of sleep. Eating healthy foods helps too, as many nutrients are associated with brain function and keeping you alert throughout the day. Eating bad foods can make you tired, sluggish and leave you struggling to find the right answer when the time comes.
On top of everything else is simply to just stay calm about finals and remember that everyone has to take them. You aren’t the only one nervous about tests and feeling stressed. Keeping in mind that everyone is in a similar position as yourself will make you feel better about your own situation and may even become a comforting, distressing thought. Get studying early and good luck!
Applying for college is an extremely stressful time for all high school students. Pressure builds as parents and friends weigh in on where they think you should go and the applications begin piling up—the essay, any supplemental essays, filling out all of the information. Getting everything done in addition to staying on top of your schoolwork can be difficult for many.
A few easy tips can go a long way in help you reduce stress and stay on top of everything while still meeting deadlines and getting everything done in time.
Make sure you have safety, target and reach schools in your list. Safety schools are those schools that accept students with credentials that are not as good as your own (gpa, SAT/ACT, extracurricular, etc.) are, for the most part, superior to the “average” accepted student and you can be almost positive you can get in. Your accomplishments should match the expectations of your target schools (ex.—if they expect students to have a 3.5gpa, the school is a target for you if you have maintained a 3.4-3.6), and reach schools are those whose expectations may be higher than what you’ve accomplished—but you still have a chance and there is no good reason not to take it. You need this variety so that you can shoot for schools that might be a little better than what you can expect to get into; if you get in, great , if not, no harm, no foul. Target schools should leave you feeling comfortable about your chances of getting in and are great schools for you, and you need safeties in the off chance that if all else fails, you’ll have somewhere to go in the fall at the very least.
In addition to having a wide array of colleges that you are applyinh to, you should be sure to narrow the list down to a select few that you really like. A good number may be two reach schools, three target schools and two safety schools. Any more applications than this may become overwhelming to get out in time, and any less and you are only hurting your own chances of going to a school you enjoy. You should also be sure to go to commonapp.org and see if any of your schools allow it. I was able to use the common application for seven of the eight schools I applied to, saving me a lot of time by requiring me only to have to fill out two applications instead of eight.
Start writing your essay early to allow ample time for revisions, re-writes and corrections. You can’t send in a first draft, it needs to be your best work. As such, you must provide yourself a lot of time to work on it. Remember, every college will require at least one essay, and you can usually use the same essay for each. However, some colleges require additional essays and you should be sure to make sure which schools of yours, if any, require this early so you don’t find yourself scrambling to put an essay together at the last minute—or not applying at all.
Good luck applying to schools, it is a stressful yet exciting process that you should put your best effort into.
Worried about that big test coming up soon? Got finals, the SAT or even the GMAT causing your stress levels to rise and your heart to beat faster and faster every day? Here are some tips to ensure you prepare the best way possible so that you can take your test with your head high, confident of your cognitive abilities.
Don’t cram all of your studying in the day before, or even two days before. Studies show that it is best to study little by little, every night for at least a few days. This will help you remember things more easily and ensures that you give yourself ample time to prepare for every question a test may throw at you. Cramming it all in the night before will only make it more difficult to retain all of the information and may also cause you to lose sleep and raise stress levels as you rush to study everything hours before the start of your exam.
Get a good night’s sleep the day before your test. Studies prove that much of the memory retention you have occurs during sleep, so in order for you to benefit most from your studying you have to sleep so that the information can soak into your mind. A good nights rest will always leave you feeling refreshed, energized and sharp in the morning: perfect test taking mode. You should also be sure to eat a big breakfast, as this will help keep you focused on the task at hand instead of allowing your mind to wander while your test sits idly in front of you, the clock ticking away…
During the test, be sure to pace yourself accordingly. Chances are you have a limited amount of time to test, so you should be sure to skip over the questions that initially give you trouble so you are sure to make it to all of the problems you know with confidence.
Remember to relax in the days leading up to the test as well. The second you start to freak out over the test is the second you start to lose focus and concentration, and eventually it may cause you to lose points. If you stay optimistic about things and remain focused and poised, you stand a much better chance of studying efficiently and effectively. Relaxing before a test will also set your mind at ease—you need to be sure that you remain grounded when the time comes so that you can delve into the depths of your memory and pull out the answer that you know is lurking in there somewhere.