Finals Prep 101: How to Actually Study

How to actually study

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:

How to Focus.

Study Snacks

The Essential Supplies

What techniques help you study?











36 thoughts on “Finals Prep 101: How to Actually Study

  1. angelmerisa23 says:

    I found that I retained more when I took notes while I read chapters. It helped for me to go back and connect what was in the book and what was in my lecture notes from class. Great tips! xx Merisa | Monogrammed Magnolias

  2. fairyprincessjord says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever reread the book (unless I was skimming for something I missed), rereading your own words is SO much more valuable. I think rewriting your notes is helpful too, and flashcards, I’ve always LOVED flashcards!

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