By Sadhana Pittala
As the holiday season draws to a close, finals are just around the corner. This can be the most stressful time of the year, or the most relaxing. Depending on how you handle it. Finals are the most important tests that you will take all year, they are the deciding factors of your grades, they could make or break your GPA. But never fear, with the right preparation, this week could be a breeze, as I present to you: 10 ways to ACE your finals.
1. Start studying early, DO NOT CRAM. Cramming may have worked for you on tests throughout the year, but remember that these are finals. It is near impossible to learn everything taught in a semester, overnight. Break up your studying into portions, read a chapter a night if necessary, and leave the night before as a quick
review, for small last minutes points.
2. You may think you learn better when listening to music, but studies show that this is not in fact true. Music distracts you from actually learning the material, but if the silence drives you crazy, try listening to Mozart. His compositions follow a 60 bpm pattern which stimulates both the left and right sides of the brain. A more stimulated brain means you are more likely to remember everything that you study.
3. Don’t drink gallons of coffee and energy drinks, or drinks filled with caffeine, when studying. Instead, drink cacao mixed with milk. natural cacao has antioxidants, and is a mood improver, but when mixed into chocolate bars, it loses its nutritional value. So next time you need a late night study drink, grab a cup of warm milk with a dash of cacao powder.
4. GET ENOUGH SLEEP! Studies have shown that a person who stays awake for up to 21 hours, has the same mental capacity of a drunk person, in terms of decision making and the ability to recall information.
Staying up late to study, and not getting enough sleep, aren’t going to help in anyway or form. So plan your
study accordingly, and make time for healthy amounts of sleep. Although this may be hard to do, considering the busy schedules that most high schoolers follow, try to cut back on activities during the weeks before finals.
5. Get a study group together. Studying with others can be both beneficial and detrimental. Beneficial, when everyone concentrates and knows what they’re doing. Detrimental, when people get distracted, or are prepared. Study groups give you an opportunity to explain everything that you know and discuss the materials,
which would help you remember the information.
6.EXERCISE just 30 minutes a day can lower stress levels, and allow you to concentrate on the task at hand. Even if you can’t exercise every day, try to do so at least three times a week.
7. Give yourself study breaks. Every 45 minutes or so, get up, stretch, and go do something else. Limit
your breaks to less than 10 minutes, and make sure to move around.
8. Go in and talk to your teachers, they are there to help you. Most teachers also hold study sessions,make time to attend them. Make time to go in after, before or during school to ask questions. Trust me, it helps.
9. Start studying with the things that you know. Review that first, and then slowly add on the material that you don’t. That way, you can start off confident and build up from there.
10. Eat a healthy breakfast, not eating breakfast reduces your brain’s ability to think by 20%-40%. Your body needs the energy, especially when taking finals, so don’t skip.