Stress-Free Studying Techniques

BY LOGAN BLEDSOE

With finals just a day away, many students are very stressed and anxious for the big exams that can make or break you grade in a class. 

However, whether you are cramming for hours a night, or just lightly reading over the material, it is important to make sure your mental health is a top priority when preparing for finals. 

Before finals come, you will need some self discipline, in order to study effectively. As someone who suffers from ADHD, I highly recommend taking 10-20 minutes breaks in between study sessions. It is important to give your brain a rest, and maybe do something that requires little mental effort. No, netflix is not a good solution. Apart from being sucked into a 3 hour binge of Trailer Park Boys, that will soak up a lot of study time, your brain will effectively go out of study mode, and go into “vegetable” mode. Doing something that keeps your brain somewhat stimulated is a good way to stay in the learning mode. 

If you are a musician, go jam out for a little bit. If you are an athlete, go play a quick game of catch, basketball, etc. If you aren’t either of those, even leaving the room to go get water and a snack, and having a small conversation with your parents, guardians or other about what you are studying may help. Basically, just leave the room and do something you enjoy that will keep your brain somewhat mentally awake. Getting bogged down in the books for hours on end and not leaving your desk, is the worst way to study. Zoning out for 45 minutes on end, or headbanging to music at your desk, is a sign that you need a break. 

Some people need more frequent breaks than others, and that’s okay, it doesn’t mean you aren’t as smart as them. It is important to keep in mind however, that the shorter the study session, the shorter the break should be. 

Stress management is a big part of studying, if you are more confident in a certain subject and believe that you can get a good grade, then maybe don’t study extensively for that test and use your time to study another subject. I, personally, prioritize what I study by what finals are first, then I choose which final on that day i need the most review on. This way I can be more prepared for the classes I am not as proficient in, and at the same time, give some spare time and energy. 

Lastly, quiz yourself. Yes it works. If you have ever taken psychology, then you know, your brain learns best from mistakes. Just repeating notes and information in your head is far less effective than asking yourself questions. Getting them wrong is okay! Chances are, the next time you see the question or term, you will know the answer. It has been proven that quizzing yourself on material works far better than any other method of studying. 

Finals can be stressful, it’s okay to be anxious or stressed. Just remember to make time for your mental health, because that is most important. Drink plenty of water (this can also aid memory), get plenty of sleep, and use your time effectively. You’re going to get through this! Just study smart, and good luck! 

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