In College

"Preparing for Finals Week"

Happy last week of class! Or finals week... Idk. Whatever week you are,that time of the year is coming... And sadly, I am not talking about Christmas only. I'm talking about finals! 

Many students feel like they are carrying the weight of the world in their shoulders when finals roll in. But no need for that!

Every single semester, I manage to raise my GPA a couple points thanks to finals, and I know that is not the case for almost everyone. So, here I bring you my top finals tips that help me stay calm, relaxed, and actually thrive on my finals.

Make a Plan
This plan can be as detailed or ambiguous as you want. Whatever works for you. 

I like writing all the chapters or topics that I have to study, and beside it write read book,  practice test, review. I usually follow the order on the book, because there is a reason why it is in that order duh!, and once I feel super comfortable the book problems and content, the practice tests and old tests, I move on to the next one.

Then, after I had studied everything, usually one or two days before the test, I like going back and reviewing the main ideas.

Find your Space
We all know how important is to study in a quiet space with no distractions, but make sure you are also comfortable in this place. 

The other day I was reading some studying tips (cause that is how I procrastinate) and I read that, if you can, you should study in the test room. Your brain will associate the place with the information and you will remember more. 

But if you can't study in the testing room, you can also picture yourself in the library, your room, or the place that you studied, and it will work the same.

If you have trouble finding motivation during finals, "What to do when you are not feeling like it"

Start with the Hard Stuff
Let's imagine you have to write an essay, a research paper, study for Bio, review your easy class notes, and figure out what is going on in Calculus; so you start with the easy class... WRONG!

You have to start with the hard stuff because motivation drops exponentially with time; reason why no one wants to study for the last final. At the same time, you have to be conscious about your time. You don't want to spend all your time on the easy classes and having to study Calculus and Bio the night before.

Also, if you have to write essays, don't work on them just one day, but work for an hour or two during a week. This will give you a better, not rushed, essay/research paper/literary analysis or whatever. Check my "Ultimate Guide to Writing the Perfect Essay"

Pack some Snacks (and Coffee)
Hangry mood = no studying

I am literally going grocery shopping today and stocking up on healthy snacks. Popcorn, trail mix, apples, carrots, hummus... Mmm food. You want a fun combination of carbs, fats, and protein that will keep you full and with energy.

Another important thing here, coffee! If you are not a regular coffee drinker, you may become one during finals. It is just part of the party occasion. Me, since I am all natural and healthy, prefer drinking coffee rather than energy drinks. If you see me with a Monster, it means coffee didn't work and I really need all my senses. 

But anyways, a venti a day may get pretty expensive. This is why I bought my own coffee machine with a milk frother, lattes for days!

Take Breaks
You don't want to burn out... Huge probability you had heard of the Pomodoro Technique, even though I don't really use the 25 minutes study and 5 minutes break, I do take breaks. 

I usually just put mini goals, like complete 5 problems or read half a chapter, and then I take a mini break. 5 to 10 minutes aka a youtube video on productivity and study techniques (productive procrastination).

After a couple hours, you should take a longer break, walk around the place, get some snacks, or even make an easy task from another subject. This will reset your mind and will keep you from feeling tired.

Call your Study Buddy
Text your friends and invite them to come study with you. It is great if your friend is in the same class and you can exchange notes, ideas, and knowledge. But, any friend is a good study buddy.

My friends and I have no common classes and that is alright! I help them with some calculus sometimes, but mostly we motivate and keep each other from falling asleep or spending an hour scrolling through Instagram.

Sweat a Little
Physical health and mental health are connected. if you want to be on your A game by the time finals roll in, you gotta workout a little. 

If you don't really want to workout hard because then you are going to be tired, go for a walk with your notes. This (scientifically backed-up) tip will help you remember more in less time.

But if you have no motivation to workout, check my post on "How to Actually go to the Gym". Also, make sure to check my Back and Biceps Workout and Leg Day Routine.

Old tests, online tests, all the tests...
When I am preparing for a test, I love doing practice test but I usually find myself thinking that those are not enough. That is when I start asking friends for their old tests and even looking online for other colleges test.

Pro tip: Find people (or just the website) from another section of your course. The approach from a different professor may be just what you need to understand that really complicated concept.

Relax and treat yourself
You know I am always  encouraging the treat yourself idea. And omg in finals you NEED to plan for some me time to relax and not get overwhelmed. 

In my "How I Invest on Myself" and "How to be a Lot Happier," I go over some ways of treating yourself, and most importantly, why you should ALWAYS put yourself first.

Every time I get overwhelmed, my mom tells me that she loves the idea of me having an amazing GPA, but she prefers having a healthy daughter. In other words, "Don't risk your mental/physical health for a perfect 4.0"

Test Time
Finals are (finally) here and, obviously, you are ready for them. You had been studying really hard lately, redoing all the tests, and reading over and over your notes. 

I like getting some light workout and then a nutritious breakfast before doing my tests. Unless they are at 8:00 am, then I will just have breakfast. It's finals week after all... Sorry, not sorry.

If you have really bad anxiety (like me), then I will recommend not cramming the night or the morning before the test. It will just create more anxiety and stress, instead go for a walk, do your nails, or do whatever destress you. For more tips, go check my post on "Battling Test Anxiety"

Good luck on your finals! You got this.

Don't forget to pin it :)

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