Finishing the semester strong by preparing for finals

With finals around the corner, students are starting to buckle down and prepare for the stress that comes along with finals week.

Jared Moser, a senior studying health science, said students often have high stress levels around finals season.

“It’s important to keep calm and study on,” according to an article titled, “25 Crucial Study Tips for Finals Week” on the College USA TODAY website.

Shanda Tew, a senior studying ecology, range, wildlife and fisheries, said the purpose of finals is to make sure students learned something over the course of the semester.

“It’s a cumulative thing,” Tew said. “You have to be preparing the whole semester and paying attention.”

Stephanie Nilsson, a sophomore studying history education, said preparing for finals takes time and dedication.

Nilsson said there is a lot of stressful crying involved. She said it is inevitable to procrastinate and think one can do just as well as if he or she studied earlier but that is never the case.

Tew said studying varies for the student and his or her classes.

“Try something new if your current techniques are not producing results,” according USA Today.

To produce positive results from studying, students are recommended to space out study sessions, entwine subjects and test themselves, according to an article titled, “Study Smart,” on the American Psychological Association website.

Nilsson said no matter what study method she is using, she always focuses on covering the main ideas of the material.

“I like flash cards — the study and test method,” Nilsson said. “It helps me out a lot. If you don’t know what’s on the back, then you don’t know the material on the front.”

Tew said she likes to review previous class material.

“If old tests are available, I go over the old tests,” Tew said. “I go over my notes from the whole semester.”

Nilsson said that highlighting material can trigger memory retention.

“I like color-coding things,” Nilsson said. “What I’ve learned in my education classes is that you remember things better.”

Tew said that she spends three to four hours studying in different ways for each class final. She said students should do the same.

“Don’t cram because usually that doesn’t work,” Nilsson said. “What I’ve learned in a psychology class is that we need seven hours to remember the material.”

Nilsson said she learned that sleeping for seven hours after studying increases a students’ chances of retaining information that will be on a test.

“Seven is the magic number,” Nilsson said. “Just give yourself plenty of time to learn the material.”

Nilsson said that because finals determine students’ overall grade, it is OK to ask for and accept help.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your roommates saying, ‘Quiz me on this,’” Nilsson said.

Moser said finals are tough and simply require a lot of work, time and dedication.

“If you want a good grade, you have to put in the time,” Moser said. “There’s no way around it; you just have to do   the work.”

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