Originally posted December 10, 2015
Here they come, the dreaded semester tests. If you are stressed about finals, don't forget to take a breath. Make sure you take time each day to study, but you should also pray to the God of all creation, the One who has everything under control. Ask for knowledge, wisdom, and perseverance. Don't head out to a test without taking a moment to talk to God. If you still need more tips, here are some strategies I found on USA Today:
- Review your notes daily.
- Predict possible questions. Review old tests, study guides or the course objectives.
- Answer questions you didn’t know the first time. If the exam is cumulative and you struggled to master any material, return to it.
- Meet with your professor.
- Link new information to things you already know. Forming these associations will help you retrieve information later.
- Create mnemonic devices, rhymes or acronyms, to help you remember information.
- Take short breaks. Your brain can process a limited amount of information and benefits from some rest. Reward yourself with naturally enjoyable activities, such as playing X-box or clicking through Facebook.
- Stay healthy. Get some sleep and avoid caffeine. Seriously – your brain with thank you.
- Draw it. Create tables, diagrams, mind maps or pictures to represent and organize the information.
- Study in a distraction-reduced environment. Turn off your cell phone, TV and email notifications.
- Quiz yourself. Cover up your notes and try to explain them. Create flashcards. If you find yourself struggling to remember, try different techniques to learn the material.
- If it works for you, form a study group.
- Manage your anxiety. By listen to calming music, stretching or breathing deeply, you can avoid stress and release negative thoughts.
- Overlearn the material. When you think you are finished, keep going.
- Stay positive and persist, believing that talent can be developed. You can learn material by working hard, seeking help and using effective strategies.