Studying for finals is one task many Salt Lake Community College students dread.
Some students tend to cram just two or three days before exams, and go days without adequate sleep. The late-night studying rituals and sleep deprivation can create misery in every student’s life.
According to the Academic Skills Center at Dartmouth University, students should study in chunks, use daylight hours and find the right place to study to make studying more worthwhile.
Communication major Helen Lima shares study techniques that are effective for her.
“I just make a to-do list so that I can stay focused on the task of studying. I only spend about an hour on each subject, unless its a really hard subject like anatomy I will spend like an hour making flash cards and then go over the flash cards for an hour.”
SLCC student Lacie Brown explains why students should avoid studying too much material at one time.
“I allow plenty of time for studying and sleep. I find that budgeting your time becomes incredibly important during midterms and finals. I try not to spend more than two hours studying at a time. It’s too over-whelming. This is why time management is so crucial.
“Also, when you study for more than two hours at a time, it’s harder to retain that much information.”
According to Stanford University, students should set goals during study time and use an appointment book to be organized with time and other outside activities.
Stanford also recommends that students find out what type of learner they are, which will improve their ability to retain the material.
Brown emphasizes that carving out a regular time to study will pay dividends when finals week rolls around.
“Again, time management is crucial. If you work directly after school, make a commitment to your homework when you come home from work, even if it’s only for an hour. We don’t realize how much time we waste during the day when we could be studying.
“Think about how often you turn the TV on when you’re not at school? That’s time that could be for studying.”
Knowing when to take a break is also important.
Brown and Lima find time to relax and unload from studying. While Lima watches a mindless TV show or the Food Network for stress relief, Brown has a more orthodox approach.
“The best stress reliever is not to create stress in the first place by putting off studying until the last minute,” Brown says. “ Allow an hour everyday to study, that way you don’t have to cram later.
“ Also, for relieving stress I find a good healthy meal and a good night’s rest is the best cure. Sleep! Sleep! Sleep! It’s just too important to rest your brain.”
Finals week is a stressful time, but finding a balance in studying and a stress reliever is crucial in remaining sane during the college years.