I am partially thrilled that I have two of my finals this Friday, but mostly I’m entirely stressed that I’m not going to remember everything. My stress isn’t entirely unwarranted, however, I know that I am equipped with the know-how of my most effective studying techniques. If you’re also feeling the pressure of finals week creep up on you, continue reading for my tips on how to effectively study.
> Stay Off the Computer. I’ve learned that even if I take notes in class on my computer, come finals time, my computer possesses the biggest risk of distraction. I print off my notes before I begin reviewing them because this also gives me space (in the margins) to write down bits of information that I may have forgotten in my original notes. Which brings me to my next point…
> Read Your Own Words. Teachers have always told me that rereading the book before big exams is not an effective way to study – and I agree. After much trial and error, I realized that when studying I pay attention most to the words I’ve written myself because I understand how I think, obviously. Also, I find that rereading five, maybe ten chapters in a thick text book drains my energy and focus. That being said, I know that skimming the text book does work for some (Tucker included).
> Recall, Recall, Recall. How many times have you sat down to read something only to not remember a darn thing once you’ve finished? After each section (or for history classes, five-ten years of history), I summarize what I just read. Doing so ensures that you either understood what you just read or can help isolate topics that you need to review again. A trick I use to do this say the words in my head as I’m reading them. While I know this can make the reading process much slower depending on the subject, I’ve found that this technique helps me check instantaneously if I understood what I read.
More Finals Prep 101 posts:
What techniques help you study?