It’s that time of the quarter again for UCLA students: finals. Before you run and hide in your dorm room, binging on Bruin Cafe whilst watching the new 3rd season of House of Cards.. again, keep these tips and tricks of the trade in mind so you can go from intimidated and hopeless to confident and knowledgeable! Whether you have 50+ pages of reading left, a 6-8 page essay, or just a classic free-response final, you have no need to fret as long as you tackle finals week with preparation:
1. Form a study group
Sometimes, sticking your head in a book for hours on end with a cup of hot caffeine as your closest friend is not the call (and by sometimes, I mean most times). By forming a study group with fellow peers in class, you will catch information you didn’t absorb the first time around in lecture and also re-emphasize important topics in class. Verbally discussing concepts is much more effective in long-term memory and will enhance your performance on your finals.
2. Time management is key
Scenario A: It’s Sunday. Your 6 page paper (mostly written.. ish) is due tonight, your organic chemistry final is Tuesday at 8 AM, you have work tomorrow from noon to 4, it’s your best friend’s birthday on Wednesday and you promised you would go to all-you-can-eat sushi, and your Poli-Sci final is on Thursday and you haven’t even started reviewing! Stop, breathe, relax. Open your agenda (if you don’t have one, then go get one! Or make Google calendar your new best friend) and assign time slots to everything on your to-do list. Make sure to base this on priority and deadline. For example, edit your paper now so you have time to practice O-chem tonight as well!
3. Take care of yourself
If you can’t remember exactly when you took your last shower, then something needs a little tweak in your finals lifestyle. While it can be easy to forget the fundamentals (showering, brushing your teeth, eating healthy), be motivated by how much better you feel – and hence, how much better you study and perform – when you truly take care of yourself. A wise friend once told me, “look good, feel good,” which means to say that you will be more confident in your studies and finals endeavors when you take the time to maintain proper hygiene, eat healthy, and exercise to manage stress.
Happy finals and have a great spring break!