- Make a schedule and stick to it. It may not be possible to plan every minute of your day around studying for final exams, but do your best to try!
- Prioritize your “to-do” list the night before or first thing in the morning. This will keep your mind focused on the most important task first.
- Be sure to set deadlines for yourself. This will help keep you on track for long-term goals. If your final paper for Children’s Literature isn’t due for two weeks, start doing a little bit of research each day if necessary, and set a date to begin writing.
- Make sure you write in time to do things that are necessary, like grocery shopping, cooking dinner or walking the dog. These things can’t necessarily be avoided just because it’s finals time! If you can, pay your little sister to come do these things for you; you’ll be able to focus your attention on studying and you’ll help her make a little cash!
- Delegate responsibilities when possible. Working on a group project? Don’t offer to type the entire thing the night before if you don’t really have the time. This is the point of a group project. Everyone can chip in.
- Use a timer to keep yourself on time with each task. If you know you can read 20 pages in your Psych book in an hour, allow yourself one hour to do it, otherwise you may find yourself still staring at the book two hours later because you drifted off (see #8) or you were texting with your friend (see #7).
- The University of Minnesota Duluth suggests that you “make sure your surroundings are conducive to studying.” This will help minimize the time you waste. If you’re liable to be texting your friends every few minutes, leave your phone in another room or better yet, turn it off completely to minimize all distractions.
- Make sure you get enough sleep each night and are eating a good meal in the morning. You’ll be much more alert to study after you’ve had eight hours of sleep and an omelet than you would on three hours and a donut.
- Leave time for relaxation. You won’t retain any of the information you’re cramming into your brain if you’re too fried from staring at books all day, every day. Make a “no-studying on Saturday nights” rule and allow yourself to have a date night with your significant other or a dinner date with your parents. These things are important, too.
- If all else fails, get yourself one of Hermione’s Time Turners:
Follow as many of these top ten tips as possible, and you’ll be well on your way to excelling during finals week and earning yourself an extremely deserved winter break!