Finals for college can be a stressful time for students. It can become difficult to find effective new ways to prepare for exams.
Ten Salt Lake Community College students explain and give advice on what they do to prepare for finals.
1. Pricilla Tukuafu – Flashcards
Tukuafu uses flash cards to prepare for finals.
“I think, for me, flashcards really [work]. If you have key terms and if the instructor says, ‘This term is important,’ I try to have a flashcard for it,” Tukuafu says.
Kholi suggests using resources available on the Internet in order to review the key notes and terms for each course.
“Quizlet is [a free] online flashcard system… You can get it on your phone; it’s on Android as well as iOS. You can type the notes up on the computer and review them wherever you are.
“I also use Evernote.com. I put my notes and key terms from the chapters on there throughout the semester and I go back and review them,” Kholi says.
3. Tyler Kenisen – Visual practice
Kenisen finds studying difficult at times because it requires extensive reading. Kenisen suggests finding a way to take what someone is studying and putting it into practice.
“I am a visual learner… When I put [my studies] into practice I am more likely to remember it than if I were just reading it or studying it,” Kenisen says.
4. Heidi Roberts – Don’t get distracted
Roberts has found that she does better on her finals when she doesn’t get distracted from focusing on her finals before and during her tests.
“Don’t get distracted. What I do is I come to school and I say, ‘Okay, I can’t talk to anybody. I’m going to go do my homework [and] I’m going to go home.’”
Roberts adds, “[Finals are] not as bad as [we] think it is, honestly. [We] stress [ourselves] out more than the stress needs to be.”
5. Alec Culver – Start studying now
“Start [studying] early. A lot of people try to start the week of or the week before [finals], but one of my teachers gave me the idea to start a couple weeks before finals… Study earlier; study a lot more often. You don’t have to study every day, just… twice a week for the first few weeks before… finals, then, study really hard the week before. Make sure you [understand] it rather than just cramming it into your brain,” Culver says.
6. Josh Perez – Time management
“The thing that really helps me the most with finals is time management. I’ll take one hour to sit down and study one specific thing for one specific class, then I’ll take a break, and then I’ll move on. I’ll [focus intently on] studying and then take about 15 to 20 minutes for just relaxing. It keeps me moving forward without stressing too much, but it’s a slower pace,” Perez suggests.
7. Jordyn VanRij – Group study sessions
VanRij finds that group study sessions help her prepare for finals.
“We all teach each other and help each other. If there is something they didn’t catch in class I would, or visa-versa. You pick on things you didn’t catch. Sometimes they are doing [the classwork] an easier way than I would have thought [of doing],” says VanRij.
8. Adam Dalton – Study hard
“I just study hard. It’s just about putting the time in. I make sure I understand everything I am led to believe is going to be on the test… This amount of information, then I make sure I understand it no matter how much time it takes me. I study until I feel confident I understand everything that the teacher has led me to expect that I am going to need to know,” says Dalton.
Dalton also suggests there is not a way to get around studying hard for finals.
“There are no real short cuts. You either know the information or you don’t. You just have to learn it. There aren’t any secret tricks that are going to prepare you to magically know the information,” Dalton says.
9. Jasmin Stefenssen – Find study groups you work well with and explain what you are studying
“Group study can be hit and miss. [Group sessions are useless] if you have personalities that clash… [It helps] if you have a good group,” Stefenssen says.
“It’s not just that you get ideas from other people, but trying to explain something to someone else helps a lot. You have to know it to be able to teach it. Repetition is a huge part of it. Repetition, repetition, repetition.”
10. Kylee Johansen – Arrive early to get in the mindset
“Find a point in time to relax and chill before the test so you aren’t so overwhelmed,” Johansen says.
Johansen suggests that students should find a time before the test to turn off their brain and focus on something else just before the final. She reads a book to help her relax so she can focus more intently during the test.