How to study for finals

With only a few days left of the school year, the only thing separating you from summer is finals. Finals week can cause a great amount of stress and anxiety for high school students, especially in second semester. Many wonder when is it appropriate to start studying? What material is important to study? In what environment should you study?

According to the Huffington Post, it is best to study in chunks rather than cramming in last minute studying—preferably 20-50 minute sessions with short breaks in between. This will result in your brain retaining most of the information. Be sure to separate yourself from distractions, including cell phones and social networking sites. Seat yourself in a quiet environment and sip some cocoa and listen to Mozart. Studies show that listening to Mozart stimulates both sides of the brain, which increases the likelihood that relevant information will be remembered. Organic hot chocolate is packed full of antioxidants and mood enhancers and in beneficial to drink during a period of stress.

Forming a study group can help you or hurt you depending on your favored learning method. Study groups can motivate you to keep focused when its hard to do yourself, and it may also be helpful to have things explained out loud. However, study groups can also turn into a social gathering if you start to hang out rather than to focus. There are pros and cons to studying alone and with others all the same, and it’s up to you to decide which one is more helpful.

Being time conscious is essential during the weeks (or days) prior to exams. Make a schedule and prioritize according to which classes you need to study the most for.  If you have trouble memorizing things, make it interesting and use mnemonic devices, which are most commonly used for lists or number sequences. For example, memorizing the imaginary name “Roy G. Biv” is an effective way to remember the colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet).

Finally, be sure not to stress yourself out. Before you take your exam, imagine yourself acing it. Think positive and go over the information in your head several times. Get a good night’s sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, and show up prepared.