Study Tips: Spring Finals 2012

Are you a self-saboteur? When it comes to finals, avoid pitfalls.

By Texas State SLAC

Woman studying in library

As finals approach, prepare to pace yourself.

As finals approach, it’s important to have a sound strategy for finishing each course well. You can undermine a semester’s worth of work (and a good GPA) with bad study techniques. Follow these reminders of what not to do while preparing for crucial tests and last papers.

  1. Pull all-nighters. Often, you won’t remember what you were studying, and you may be unable to concentrate the next day. Plan so that you will never have to pull an all-nighter.
  2. Drink TOO much caffeine. This creates a high — and a crash. Your sleep is compromised. A little caffeine isn’t bad; simply drink in moderation.
  3. Study with fun friends. “Fun” friends distract you. Study with those as serious as you are or as you want to be. Also, before a session, study the material so you’ll discern wrong from right answers to questions.
  4. Rely on adrenalin. cramming may seem to work, but you are cheating yourself out of education you’re paying for. Absorb material so that you can build on it later.
  5. Remind yourself what’s at stake—too often. While we need to tell ourselves how important a test or paper is, if this causes too much stress, tone down the pressure and try positive reinforcement. Reward yourself for studying with a movie, candy, a manicure, massage, tubing the river, and the like.

Ideally, preparing for finals is something you’ve been doing throughout the semester. For more tips on establishing good learning habits, read our previous study tips blog posts or stop by the Student Learning Assistance Center on the fourth floor of Alkek Library. (Note: SLAC will close for the semester at 8:30 p.m. Monday, April 30.)

Good luck with finals!

’Twas the Night Before Finals
By Andrew Hund, 1993

’Twas the night before finals, and all through the college,
The students were praying for last-minute knowledge.
Most were quite sleepy, but none touched their beds,
While visions of essays danced in their heads.

Out in the taverns, a few were still drinking,
And hoping that liquor would loosen up their thinking.
In my own room, I had been pacing,
And dreading exams I soon would be facing.

My roommate was speechless, her nose in her books,
And my comments to her drew unfriendly looks.
I drained all the coffee, and brewed a new pot,
No longer caring that my nerves were shot.

I stared at my notes, but my thoughts were muddy,
My eyes went a’blur, I just couldn’t study.
“Some pizza might help,” I said with a shiver,
But each place I called refused to deliver.

I’d nearly concluded that life was too cruel,
With futures depending on grades had in school.
When all of a sudden, our door opened wide,
And Patron Saint Put-It-Off ambled inside.

His spirit was careless, his manner was mellow,
All of a sudden, he started to bellow:
“On Cliff Notes, on Crib Notes, on Last Year Exams.
On Wingit and Slingit and Last Minute Crams.”

His message delivered he vanished from sight.
But we heard him laughing outside in the night.
Your teachers have pegged you so just do your best.
Happy Finals to all and to all a Good Test.

From “The Worst Things to do During Finals” according to Studying for Finals and Midterms—Stress Traps to Avoid by Elizabeth Scott, M.S.

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