5 ways to start your finals study schedule

student studying for finals

Finals are right around the corner — it’s officially crunch time. If you haven’t started thinking about the best study style for you, try these five tips to make the most of your classes. And check out this tip sheet as you prep from ASU tutoring.

1. Organize your notes

You’re going to need to do some work. Pull together all the notes you take in each class, including study guides and any flashcards or readings. Separate the notes for each class so you can study them one at a time.

If you know you’re missing certain notes or an article you read, you’ll have to put some energy into finding the missing item. Reach out to anyone you know in class, post in a class forum or discussion board or email your professor.

2. Find a study space that works for you

There’s nothing out there saying that you have to study in a certain way. If you study best with a lot of background noise, try sitting at the library (with your face mask on) or try listening to a playlist made to help you focus. For distraction-free silence, reserve a study room (available at most of the libraries on campus).

No matter what noise level you study best with, your phone is always going to be a distraction. Listen to Spotify from your laptop instead of on your phone, or try an app like Forest — it’s a tamagotchi-style game that helps you eliminate distractions by growing your own forest.  

3. Let it get tough before it gets good

Study for the class you’re dreading studying for first. You’ll get it out of the way and it’s a proven tactic to improve productivity. Plus, you’ll find out what you really need help with at the beginning of your study session instead of the end, when you’re out of time.

Once you’re done preparing for the final exam you didn’t feel ready for, you can get to material you feel confident in. Refresh your knowledge and update yourself on what will be covered on each test so you’re ready to showcase your knowledge on exam day.  

4. Get help where you’re struggling

Ask for help when you need it. Talk to a classmate who may understand something in a different way, or check out Quizlet or Khan Academy for help. If there’s still time, visit your professor’s office hours (here’s our guide for how to make it a great meeting).

5. Use a tried-and-true method

There are a lot of ways to study and googling “study tips” can be overwhelming. Try these methods before delving into the depths of the search engine.

  • Read your notes out loud to learn by listening.

  • Teach someone else the material you’re learning.

  • Write the information you need to remember by hand.

  • Quiz yourself on the information.

  • Switch up the order of the information you’re studying.

While you’re studying and during finals week, be sure to get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water, eat healthy meals, and be ready to reward yourself for your hard work when it’s over.  

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