Get your study on! Studying tips for successful finals

Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Make sure you can ace your classes and catch your career dreams

Finals season can be stressful. So many deadlines, so many exams, so many projects — it can be hard to see a way through to the end. But with a little forethought and some careful planning you can survive the season and cultivate success along the way.

“Taking good care of yourself is key at this time of the academic year,” says Tobi Strohan, associate vice-president of Student Services. “Eating and sleeping well and getting some exercise can support your success. Be well and best of luck with your studies!”

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your studying time and find success with finals. 

Good lighting is important

Dull or dim lighting can impact your ability to focus. Brighter, clean light will not only help you concentrate on the task at hand, without feeling too sleepy, it will also limit strain on your eyes.  An overhead light might not be enough, so consider investing in a desk or table lamp.

Get a good night’s rest

You may feel pressure to do more and squeeze as much as you can into one night, but that’s really not helpful. A lack of sleep can affect your ability to process and retain information, meaning your sleepless cram session isn’t worth it. Plan ahead and start studying early to ensure you can get enough sleep, especially the night before the exam.

Take study breaks

It’s good to take a break every 60-90 minutes to help refocus your brain. Get up, stretch or do the dishes — whatever it is, make sure it’s different from what you’re studying.

Turn off the phone

When you are studying, it can be tempting to grab your phone to check your social, post a photo or even play a round of Candy Crush. But that’s not going to help and disrupts your brain enough that knowledge retention is limited. Turn off your phone, leave it in another room, or put it on airplane mode. This way you can remove the distraction and focus on studying.

Organize yourself

It takes about ten minutes to look at a calendar and plan study times leading up to a deadline or final exam. If you can make it to the gym more than twice a week, you can likely make sure you are studying at regular intervals too. One or two hours a night is all you need to stay on top of things!

Published December 2017.