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Preparing for finals 101, according to student academic advisers

Study tips
Photo by Greg Lehman

Consult your professors. Get enough sleep. Study with peers. Shut off social media. Whitman College student academic advisers offered these tips and numerous others to ready for final exams, which take place next week. Here's a survey.

1. Talk to your professors now.
2. Participation points matter, so start talking it up.
3. Form study groups.
4. Make sure you get enough sleep! Sleep is a major component of creating memories; look it up, if you don't believe me.
5. Take care of yourself—you're doing the best you can.
6. On that same note, be kind to yourself and be patient.
7. Try out the Pomodoro Technique [a time-management method that uses a timer to break down work into intervals]. Whatever you pick as your study format, stick to it.
8. Plan out your study sessions and breaks, but be flexible enough where you can adjust to any unforeseen events because these will pop up.
9. Eat. Don't skip meals. And when you do eat, try to practice mindfulness. Focus on eating and enjoying mealtime.
Mayrangela Cervantes '20, a race and ethnic studies and rhetoric studies major

Whether it's a paper, studying for a test or a project, start as early as possible and just do a little each day. Also, prioritize your sleep. Your information retention goes down the less rested you are. Seven to eight hours is optimal for 18-21 year olds.
Annelise Ellingboe '20

1. Think carefully and honestly about the topics where you are weakest, and study or practice material directly related to those topics.
2. Ask your professors about the things that they think you would benefit most from working on.
3. Make a schedule or planner of some sort that shows you when all of your exams are so that you can budget your time preparing for each of them.
4. Study with peers to develop a better collective understanding and catch each other's mistakes.
5. Take breaks so that the information you review actually sticks.
Thomas Harris '20

1. Seeking out professors if you have not understood the subject material and getting advice.
2. Making flashcards. When you make flashcards, you will revisit the subject material and during finals, you can just go over the flashcards.
3. Organizing a group study session with friends so that you can review the materials you have not understood.
4. Minimizing the use of social media accounts so that you won't get distracted from your studies.
Sunita Nepal '20

Practice basic self-care through this hectic time. Reward yourself between study breaks.
Ashlyn Quintus '20, a theatre major

The key for me is realizing that there is actually a lot of free time with no classes and only finals scheduled. If you utilize the week leading up to it right, finals week can be busy but perfectly doable.
Nick Rapp '20, an environmental humanities major

I'd advise switching study places. People usually have one or two places they like to work, but working in a new area helps your brain take in the information in a new way. I'd also advise taking breaks. Your brain can only focus for so long, so after about 20-30 minutes, stand up and walk around. Give your eyes a break if you've been staring at a computer and look at something more than 10 feet away to relax the muscles in your eyes.
Maddie Wilner '20, a geology and physics major

Published on Dec 7, 2017
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