Last Minute Cramming: Study tips to help you prepare for final exams


Ella Ashby

West student studies for exams.

AJ Summers, Features Writer

With first semester exams and midterms next week, many students are cracking open their old, dusty textbooks and studying hard. These exams count for 20% of the total semester grade so it’s important that students are not just studying, but are studying correctly. So that brings up the question: What are the best ways to study?
Take breaks: It may seem counter productive, but taking breaks in between long study sessions can help increase your motivation to keep studying. Breaks also gives your brain time to rest before reviewing a new topic.
Re-teach: One of the best ways to remember material is to use what you have learned. By teaching someone else what you’re studying, you can improve your chances of memorizing the material for the test. Teaching the material as if the person you are teaching is new to the subject is key for memorization.
Rewrite notes: This strategy can be time-consuming but rewriting your notes allows you to not only review material but also to build muscle memory to help memorize key concepts. A great way to maintain motivation is to use highlighters and colorful pens to keep your brain energized.
Flash cards: One of the best ways to memorize vocabulary is through flashcards. By writing the material down, you can help improve your memorization. With websites like Blooket, Quizizz and Quizlet to utilize as well, there are many ways to make studying flashcards fun and interactive.
Don’t play music: Many people think that listening to music can help you focus, but that isn’t true. More often than not music can distract you when studying, especially pop or rock songs. A better alternative for those who need background noise would be lo-fi or classical music or white noise at a low volume to minimize distractions.
Practice in test-like conditions: One of the best ways to prepare for a test is to pretend like you are already taking it. Studying at a desk in a silent area is best so that you will be prepared to stay focused during a test. Be sure to ask your teacher if he or she has any practice tests; that will let them know you’re putting in extra effort.
Eat: Don’t wait until you’re finished studying to eat! The most important tip of all is to make sure you eat and stay hydrated. It is important to make sure you have nutrients for your brain when studying so that you can work effectively. Eggs, wheat, protein and other sources of energy are great choices when it comes to choosing what to eat when studying.
Prioritize mental health: Taking care of your mental health while studying is an important habit that also improves your test scores. You should never sacrifice sleep for studying as it is extremely important to be well rested. When preparing for a test it is important to make sure you have the right mindset.
Semester exams and midterms are stressful but by practicing good study habits, you can maintain good health and good grades.