Amidst the spring formals, scholarship banquets, and upcoming graduations, there is something lurking in the distance, waiting for its time to strike–finals. Known for making even the most seasoned and diligent college student question their life choices, finals week is the bane of every student’s existence.
This semester, don’t let your finals get the best of you. Use these tips to help you de-stress and perform better on your tests.
Get Enough Sleep
The number one mistake every student makes is pulling an all-nighter to cram for the next day’s exam. According to a study published by the journal Child Development, if you skip a full night’s rest the night before an exam, you’re more likely to have academic problems the next day even if you stayed up to study.
Not only does sleep allow us to be physically rested, but it is also the time when all the information we have gathered over the course of the day is processed. “We take the information and organize it and make all connections,” said Helene Emsellem, the director of the Center for Sleep and Wake Disorders.
Schedule in your average eight hours a night to ensure your best performance on exams.
Create a Study Schedule
Creating (and sticking to!) a study schedule is an easy way to ensure that all your projects, papers, and exams will get done on time. The weekend before finals week, write out all your exam times and place them into a planner or online appointment schedule. Then, organize your study times and other meetings and obligations around them.
When you place all of your responsibilities into a schedule, you’ll notice that you have a lot more free time than you had originally anticipated and that, as long as you stick to the schedule, you should have plenty of time to get everything done.
According to a 2010 study conducted by researchers at Saginaw Valley State University, students who exercise regularly are more likely to have higher GPAs than students who do not. On average, they found that students who exercise seven days a week had GPAs that were 0.4 points higher than those of students who do not exercise.
Of course, exercising can also be a great way to reduce those pre-finals jitters by physically working out the stress and clearing your mind.
Have Some Me-Time
While your instincts will tell you to focus all of your energy on the exams, finals week is the worst time to forget your self-care routine. Watching your favorite show on Netflix, reading some poetry, or spending a half-hour doing yoga can be a great way to give yourself a break between study sessions. You can also use it as a reward system for when you complete a project or finish an evening in the library.
Finals week is every college student’s worst enemy, but taking the time to follow these tips can make it a lot easier to survive.