On the eve of Finals week (it’s 3 days but am sure it feels as long as a week for you all), I thought it a good idea to pick up on last week’s post about time management but push it a bit.
Cramming is NEVER a good idea mostly because (1) it’s pretty ineffective (science!) and (2) so stressful! However, if you find yourself rapidly running out of hours there are a few tips that should, hopefully, prevent you from staying up till some terrible hour the night before your exams.
First, try the Read-Recite-Review method:
* Read –> Okay, yup, this one is obvious. But try to limit what you’re reading to a reasonable amount of information. Go for those areas that you’re having trouble with and those areas where you’re so close to retaining it to memory but keep it to sections versus entire chapters.
* Recite –> Now summarize what you just read. If you’re having a tough time summarize it orally or in writing. Maybe form a study group? Might make it more interesting to recite information to friends than alone.
* Review –> Now re-read that section and make sure that your recitation matches up. Did you leave out an important concept? Now you know where to focus your attention.
Check out this article on “chunking,” which came about “when a Harvard psychologist named George Miller published his study on short term memory. It was called “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two.””
While, yes, Finals are really super duper important, it is important to remember to keep your stress under control. The old tried-and-truisms of get enough sleep, eat right, exercise, don’t go overboard with caffeine, and breathe are tried-and-true for a reason – they work! Here’s a small article about how to keep your stress under control.
If you’ve got a pet, take a break for some cuddles (science again!). If you don’t have a pet or feel weird about asking to borrow your neighbor’s Labradoodle, try looking at cute animals. I dare you to look at these two cuties and not feel insta-calm.
Good luck on Finals!!