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The 2022 Spring semester is heading into its final stages. After a long winter, there is finally some hope for warmer days ahead. It’s normal for students to want to hit the fast forward button to summer and put their school work on the back burner.

Motivation right now tends to be at an all time low. Yet, the end of the school year happens to be the most critical time for determining grades. The dreaded finals week is still ways away, but mentally preparing for it now will help you avoid the panic of when it creeps up on you. You are so close to the finish line – keep reading for tips on how to finish the semester strong!    

Find the Right Balance 

There are two types of people. There’s one who dedicates hours of their life in the library studying for weeks in advance. This person needs to ensure they nail their final and get that perfect 4.0 GPA they’ve been working so hard for all year. 

Then there’s the other type of person. The one who rolls out of bed on finals day and crosses their fingers. Their big game plan is hoping the exam will be common sense and easy enough to pass. You know which one you are. 

Finding the right balance between these two is critical. Don’t get us wrong, having a 4.0 GPA is very impressive. But, is working yourself to the point of exhaustion worth it? 

Trust us, most of the jobs you’re applying for won’t be looking at if you managed to pull off a 4.0 at college. Although your work-ethic is honorable, it won’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Employers are looking for someone who put themselves out there. They want to see how you involved yourself at school. Specifically, they will be looking to see if you participated in clubs, leadership roles, sports, fundraisers, etc….

Work Smarter, Not Harder

You’ve probably heard of the saying “work smarter, not harder.” Although it’s vague advice, it happens to be true when it comes to achieving the grades you set out for. It’s a defeating feeling to spend hours upon hours studying for an exam and receive a bad grade back. This can damage a students confidence and moral. It can also may make them less willing to put in any effort on the next test. The problem is many students don’t know what they’re doing wrong. Knowing what not to do will save you loads of time and help you be more productive with your time spent studying. 

Five things NOT to do: 

1. Only read over your notes and textbooks 

2. Study the chapters all in the same day

3. Pull an all nighter 

4. Read power point slides on a lap top

5. Study for 3+ hours with no breaks

Re-reading notes, textbooks, and power point slides is helpful. But, unless you have a photographic memory, you won’t be able to remember much of that information. So, let’s look at some smarter things that you can do while studying. 

Break Down the Topics 

An effective way to retain information is breaking down the chapters. Focusing on each one separate from each other will be way less overwhelming. It will also help you understand the material on a deeper level. When you look at everything together, you’re only reaching the surface levels of the topics. 

Be Selective 

It is key is to be selective when you’re studying. Trying to study everything you learned in class in great detail is unrealistic. There’s simply just not enough time and nobody wants to do that. The best advice we can give is to pay attention in class. Many professors will drop hints during lessons of what is going to be important on your exam. Some professors may even make final exam topic outlines for you. Use these when you study so you can focus on topics of high importance.

Re-write your Notes by Hand

Those who make up Generation Z are experts when it comes to technology. Nowadays, most of their course materials are are all online. Having information readily available at your finger tips is a huge advantage. However, when it comes to studying, we recommend taking the old-fashion pen and paper route.  

Here’s why: research has shown that when you rewrite notes, your brain is thinking about and processing the information that you’re writing down. Whereas on a laptop, your brain isn’t actively picking up information from typing or copying/pasting. Taking this into consideration, your study session best friends are plain and simple : 

  • pen
  • notebook
  • highlighter

You probably don’t need to be told how to use a highlighter. But, you’d be amazed at how many people highlight way too much information on what’s most important. Make sure you are being selective and really considering what you think is key information. Over-highlighting will make things confusing and unorganized. 

Change up your Space

If you’re finding it difficult to focus, try switching it up. Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need. If this doesn’t help, you may need a break. Straining yourself to study for long periods of time can actually be counter-productive. You’re better off coming back to the material after you recharge and had some time to let your mind rest. 

We hope this helps you finish the semester strong and crush your finals. And remember, whatever score you receive on your exam doesn’t reflect how intelligent of a person you are. Stay strong and Water Street Square wishes you the best of luck!