Tips on cramming for finals

By Rebecca Ramirez, Staff Writer

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It’s finals week and students know what that means: it’s time to cram. High schoolers have perfected the skill of passing a test after procrastinating as much as possible, and finals aren’t any different. Here’s a few tips on how to cram for a final.

Make sure you are able to concentrate when you study. Cram sessions are already pretty last minute, so try to rid yourself of distractions. Find a quiet place you can work so you can focus on studying.

While final exams tend to cover a broad spectrum of topics, the questions normally go less in depth than unit tests. Review the main points and big ideas from whichever units will be covered on the final. The beginnings and ends of textbook chapters often have a brief summary of the main point. Once that is absorbed, going more in depth can be beneficial.

If studying with friends often turns into a social call, try studying by yourself. If solitary studying doesn’t work out for you, make sure the people you study with have a basic knowledge of the things you need to review; you might all be confused about the same things.

Take breaks when you study. You will be able to retain more information if have a few minutes of downtown between large bursts of studying. Try clearing your head every 45 minutes or so to feel more refreshed when you get back on the grind.

Reading a textbook does not always make content stick in a person’s brain. If that hits home with you, try writing down your own notes about the subject. Going through a complicated concept and putting it into your own words can help understanding. Writing down the facts can be more involved than reading and it can help with memorization.

Flash cards are a classic study tool that are handy for a lot more than vocab words. For a math final, draw a distinct graph on one side and the equation on the other side. Have somebody else drill the terms with you and make sure to spend extra time on cards you were unclear about.

If you’re thinking of staying up for hours and losing sleep to study for your final: don’t. While you might be able to review more topics by pulling an all-nighter, chances are you won’t remember half of what you covered at 2 a.m. anyway. Getting a decent amount of sleep the night before a final is crucial so you can focus on the test in the morning.

On the day of a final it is important to eat breakfast so you have energy to keep going and concentrate. If necessary, pull out those flash cards and review the material in class before the exam.

Good luck!