Finish Strong

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Written by Chloe Miller

As summer is just around the corner, I think we are all ready for finals to be over and summer break to begin!  But let’s finish strong!!

Prioritize

Final exams are generally designed to be a comprehensive review for the entire semester. So remember that chapter that you struggled with the most? Let’s start with that topic first. 

For example, if you struggled with circles, let’s start there first.  Start with notes and materials from your teacher. Utilize the appropriate material from the textbook and online resources. Re-doing the homework is a great starting point as well. 

Make a study plan ahead of time

Just because finals are around the corner, that does not mean sports, prom, other tests, and recitals all stop. When you know you have a busier schedule coming up, how can you plan ahead?  Well, you may not like hearing it, but starting to study for the finals a few weeks early is not a bad idea. 

The volume of materials and the difficulty of the questions demands a full understanding and multiple reviews. Cramming a few nights before won’t lend to setting yourself up for success. 

Create summary notes IN YOUR WORDS 

Does flipping through so many chapters and multiple pages of notes from the entire semester sound daunting to you?  Me, too!! Studying for a finals exam in AP Physics made me desperate and inundated with too many equations, names of the scientists, and concepts. Creating a one page summary sheet of all the equations, key and hard examples, and mnemonics for important concepts not only became an opportunity for me to fully understand the material but also a quick reference guide. 

Similar notes can be created for other classes as well, such as history, foreign language, and English classes. Again, the focus is not all the details. It is the important and foundational information and concepts that serve as a backbone. Some students find it helpful to turn this into notecards.

Sleep

I know, I know. I will be the first one to admit that I used to stay up late and almost be proud that I was able to pull all nighters. But learning and particularly retaining information critically hinges on getting good sleep. Creating a regular sleeping and waking time (including the weekends!) is the best way to train your sleep schedule. Additionally, studies have found that a regular sleep schedule will require you to sleep less.

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