As the college semester comes to an end here at Springfield College, the burden of final exams begins to develop. The stresses of finals week affects everyone differently as the time grows nearer and nearer to the end of the semester. All students can all agree these heavy weighted assessments are not an enjoyable experience when anticipating the long winter break ahead of them. As seen at Springfield College, many are running to the Learning Commons to binge study for finals the next day or going to Dunkin’ to buy coffee to keep themselves up and running. Both are considered unhealthy habits that make final exams so dreadful. Before the stresses even begin to develop, there are many ways to lessen them altogether. Final exams do not have to be as scary as they seem to be, if you approach them in a more calm, healthy, and collective manner.
It is known that college students are notorious for waiting last minute for just about any task. Studying is of no exception. Students feel that pulling a couple all-nighters to study right before the exam is a method that will guarantee them an A on the exam. In fact this method doesn’t work as effectively. In an article titled The Unfortunate Truth About Study Time, "many studies have shown that after 45 minutes of studying, most students study efficiency drops to just about nothing" (The). Without knowing this, many students seem to wait last minute to study. Instead, what if you begin studying a week or two before and study for a short amount of time each day? By the time you reach when you normally would have started studying, you would already be familiar with a large portion of the material. This better choice of studying allows for your brain to be able to grasp much more information when utilizing shorter intervals of studying time. This makes the information not as overwhelming and something that can actually be comprehended. Besides finals, this tactic can also work for just about any exam or assignment throughout the semester. Planning and developing methods to get ahead on the workload is always rewarding when deadlines pop up.
Other tactics to defeat the stigma that final exams are nothing, but unnecessary stress and torture is to consider your own personal health while testing. During the week of exams it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Related to this topic, in an article called How Sleep Enhances Studying by Art Markman, a study was conducted that showed positive results on how "sleeping after a study session leads to better recall than not sleeping" (How). Making sure your rested before as well as after studying, proves to be effective when learning material before an exam. Allowing your brain the time to rest and store the information learned from studying seems to be a no brainer, but in fact many people do the opposite. Often students, as well as myself, stay up late at night studying when in fact the lack of sleep is responsible for reducing the amount of information we have the potential to retain.
In order to be on the right track to succeeding through finals week in college, the combination of time management and a healthy sleep schedule are crucial to just about any student wanting to succeed. Planning out a week or two in advanced to begin reviewing the material for an exam and then giving your body the sleep it needs are important tactics to feeling prepared when testing. Preparing yourself ahead of time and relieving stress will make for a smoother transition from finals week to winter break.