10 tips for surviving finals

Final exams can be stressful. The weather is finally nice outside, and the last thing anyone wants to do is barricade themselves inside to study. Because it can be difficult to motivate yourself and get everything done before summer vacation arrives, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you survive (and ace) your final exams.

1. Study!

This may seem like common sense, but a lot of people don’t take the time to study for finals. It’s not fun to have to spend time huddling over a book when it’s nice outside, but taking a few minutes a day to study leading up to the week of finals will help you remember information and do well on your exams.

2. Take time to relax.

Yes, we just told you to study, but stressing out isn’t going to help you remember what you need to know for your tests. After spending some quality time with your course material, give yourself a break. Go for a walk, hang out with friends or watch TV to unwind.

3. Eat well and exercise.

It may not seem like it, but your diet and exercise plans can help you do well on your tests. Eating poorly and spending your time sitting on your couch instead of getting active can make you feel sluggish, which definitely doesn’t help when you’re trying to get motivated for your final exams. Exercise also releases endorphins, which help combat stress and anxiety. Go for a jog or play frisbee with some friends, and make yourself a nice meal instead of going through the Taco Bell drive through. Your brain and body will thank you.

4. Get together with friends.

Studying with other people is more fun and can help you understand points you might be having trouble with. Create a study group with people from your classes, and work together to prepare for the final.

5.  Get enough sleep.

Yes, the weeks leading up to finals are full of parties and farewell events, but sleep is key when you’re preparing for exams. Your brain keeps working when you’re asleep, and one of it’s key tasks is taking that information you studied earlier in the day and cementing it in your memory. Depriving yourself of sleep is depriving yourself of an important step in the studying process.

6.  Don’t cram.

You may think pulling an all-nighter to study for a big test is helping you, but in reality, it doesn’t do you any favors. Studying for a little while each day for a few days leading up to your exams will help you solidify the information in your brain and help you get a good score.

7.  Clean your room.

If your workspace is cluttered, it can make you feel even more stressed out and distract you from studying. Clean things up while listening to some good music or watching a movie to create a study space that would make your mother proud.

8.  Make a list.

The number of projects, papers and tests you have to prepare for can feel overwhelming. Make yourself a list of everything you need to get done, and tackle each task one by one. When you’ve finished something, check it off the list and give yourself a short break or reward before moving on to the next thing. Seeing your progress will make everything seem more attainable.

9. Sign out of social media.

We all know Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr are great for wasting time. Sign out of your accounts, so status updates and tweets don’t distract you from your work. If you really want to disconnect, Facebook allows users to temporarily deactivate accounts, or you can have a friend or family member change your password until finals are over. If you have a hard time disconnecting from social media, set limits for how long you let yourself spend on your favorite social media outlet, or only let yourself go on as a reward for studying a certain amount of time.

10. Put your phone away.

If you’re busy checking your texts or playing Candy Crush Saga, you’re not going to be paying very close attention to the material you’re studying. Put your phone somewhere where you won’t be looking at it, and don’t check it until you’re done studying.

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