Whether you’re a freshmen, sophomore, junior, or senior; you’re likely concerned about how final exams can make or break your semester. Don’t let this temporary pressure break you, instead, take charge and take the steps to doing well on final exams.
Rest assured, while final exams hold a significant portion of your grade, they generally do not determine your entire grade. Here are some simple tips to put your mind at ease:
Talk to your teachers one-on-one about final exams
Talking to your teachers makes a big difference. It allows them to recognize you as an individual student instead of just a face in the class. Teachers who know students by name tend to think of them more during grading and often will provide opportunities to help you do better if you are showing you want to do well. Be honest and let them know your fears. Ask for help and for study resources so you can do well. Your teachers are there to help you and to make sure you excel, so make sure to take advantage of all they can do for you.
Study with other students
Studying with a group of friends can really help to calm down your anxiety. Sharing your study notes and going over questions together can help you understand information from different points of view. My best studying moments were in group settings, where I learned so much from classmates (sometimes more than I learned in the classroom).
Don’t procrastinate studying for final exams
I know it’s super hard to not procrastinate but try to avoid it. All procrastinating does is add to your stress, cause you to be sleep deprived, and possibly affect your chances of doing well. Plan in advance, study over the weeks, and space out your workload day by day so it doesn’t feel as overwhelming. On Test Day, you will be extremely confident and well-rested, which will put you in a great space to succeed.
Once you’re in college, you will be expected to manage your own schedule and workload without as much handholding from your professors. High school is the perfect time to develop strong study habits so they not only become second nature later on, but also help you get into your dream college.
Here are a few tips to help you develop study habits that serve you well in high school and beyond:
Be consistent in your study habits
If you step back and look at all you have to accomplish in high school, it can seem like a lot to take on. However, if you just focus on what needs to happen one day at a time, you’ll be surprised at how everything gets done.
For example, after each school day, make a commitment to go through each class and review your notes. This way, the info will be ingrained come Test Day, and you won’t have to cram to relearn everything you forgot.
Be persistent in getting the study help you need
Learning how to study on your own is very important, but involving your peers and teachers can really help. If you are struggling in a class, there’s no shame in reaching out to the teacher to get tips on the material you should be focusing on—and maybe even some feedback about how their exams are created.
Not only can this dramatically improve your grade, it will show the teacher you are committed to doing well, which will make them more likely to support you.
Find ways to connect with the subjects that interest you least
We all have subjects we like more than others, and they’re usually the ones we excel at. That’s why it can be hard to stay motivated when it comes to studying those other subjects, even though they may be the ones you should focus on most.
Here’s one idea: Take your least favorite subject and find something about it that relates to one of your passions—or consider how it might benefit you down the road. If you have an incentive beyond an immediate obligation, you might just find your way into the subject—and you might discover you like it more than you originally thought.
Work with your learning style
Just as we all have subjects like in more than others, we also all have unique learning styles that we need to structure our study habits around.
For example, if you are easily distracted, try studying alone in your room or in a quiet library where those around you are also focused. If you learn best in groups, find a couple of classmates whose work ethic and class standing you admire or aspire to. If you process things better by writing them down, consider rewriting your notes as a study guide.
Set realistic expectations for yourself
One of the most important study habits you can develop is being kind—to yourself. Realize that some material is going to be harder than other material, and some days you will be more productive.
For example, if one day you notice you are having a hard time concentrating, don’t force it. Let yourself to take a break and then return to the material later. Investing in all aspects of your health will benefit your grade as much as studying will. So be patient and allow yourself to take things at your own pace.