With the winter holidays right around the corner, now is the perfect time to start planning for finals week. Yes, studying for those end-of-term exams should be paramount, but don’t forget that surviving finals week means more than just cramming for tests. Here are ten tips to help you nail finals week, without compromising your sanity:

  • Eat breakfast. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to forget to do the most mundane things that make up your daily routine. During finals week, don’t skip out on breakfast. Studies have shown that eating breakfast improves short-term memory and attention.
  • Make sleep a priority. Although finals week is often perceived as a time when students pull all-nighters while drinking copious amounts of coffee, this strategy couldn’t be worse for your body. To function properly, and to muster the energy to study hard and maintain alertness throughout the day, it is vital that you get a good night’s rest.
  • Find a study buddy. It’s not always wise to rely on other people to motivate you, but finding one person to study with in preparation of your final exams can help boost your productivity.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking water regularly is another one of those things that falls by the wayside during stressful times. Don’t forget to constantly hydrate during finals week to ensure that your body is being taken care of.
  • Take a break! While breaks might seem to be an inconceivable thing during your marathon study sessions, it’s important to give yourself a moment to step back and refocus. Doing things like going for a jog, taking a yoga class, or just drinking some tea with a pal can help your mind slow down and prepare for the next round of studying.
  • Study what is most important. Sure, you may have read Paradise Lost in its entirety, but how much of what you absorbed do you really have to know for the big test? If you’re having trouble pinpointing the main takeaways of a course, refer to your syllabus or schedule a one-on-one meeting with your professor.
  • Take care of yourself. By continuing to eat well, dress well, and get good rest, you will stay positive and not let the stress of finals week hinder you from effectively preparing for your tests.
  • Be strategic about study time. Be sure to designate specific blocks of time to studying different subjects in order to get the most out of every study session. Some people even like creating charts or writing in their day planners the time that they intend to spend on each subject, and when.
  • Plan ahead. Make a point to figure out when and where your finals are being held. The last thing you’ll want on the day of exams is to be rushing to find the room your test is in. That kind of last minute stress can really rattle you, be sure to plan ahead.
  • Breathe. Finals week is something that every college student has to go through. At the end of the day, as long as you’re putting in the effort and you’ve genuinely learned something new, you can count that as a win. Take a deep breath in between study sessions, when you start to feel overwhelmed, and right before you begin a test. You’ll feel instantly more calm and grounded.
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