Studying for your finals the right way can make a huge difference to your final grades. However you choose to prepare, there are a few mistakes you must avoid.
1. Pulling an All-Nighter Before an Exam
Staying up late before an exam is always a bad idea. You need to be well rested to be able to focus on the day of your finals. A lack of sleep makes it difficult to concentrate, will slow you down, and can make you feel extra stressed.
2. Waiting Until the Last Minute
An equally bad move is to leave all your studying until right before the exam — even if you do stick to the daytime. It’s impossible to cover all the material you could encounter in an exam in one day. If you find that you’re skipping classes to cram, you have no time to eat, or you’re unable to take breaks or do anything but study, you’ve started too late. You need to give yourself at least a few days to prepare for each exam (although significantly more than this is ideal).
3. Having No Strategy
You should have already learned everything that could come up in your finals. Studying is a chance to review the material and keep it fresh in your mind. Be smart about how you allocate your time, spending longer on the most difficult concepts to ensure you understand them fully.
4. Lacking a Study Calendar
Know exactly what you’re going to study by creating a calendar in advance. Decide what you’ll cover in a particular study session and how long you’ll spend on the material. Also make sure to schedule breaks, as it’s impossible to stay focused for long periods without pause.
5. Allowing Yourself to Fall Victim to Distractions
You won’t be studying for the full amount of time you allotted if you keep stopping to do something else. Ask your roommates and friends not to disturb you while you’re studying, turn off notifications on your phone, and avoid doing anything unrelated to the task at hand. You may like to experiment with listening to music (without lyrics) or even playing white noise to block out anything that could draw your attention away from your studies.
6. Doubting Yourself
If you’ve been attending classes and studying regularly in your own time, you should be sufficiently prepared for your finals. There’s no reason to believe you’ll fail or receive a low grade. Allowing yourself to be consumed with self-doubt will make it much more difficult to study and perform well in your exams. Try to keep a positive outlook, perhaps by practicing some relaxation techniques on the days leading up to your finals.
You’ll find it easier to study for your finals when you have a quiet place where you can focus — something which is hard to find when you live on campus. For uOttawa off-campus housing, there’s THEO. We offer furnished solo and shared rooms to meet your needs and budget. Plus, you can use the study spaces to prepare for your finals alone or in a group. Meet THEO by booking an onsite visit.