Stay Sane During Finals

Finals are approaching and you feel completely overwhelmed? You don’t know where to start and how to focus? To top it off you tend to blackout during a final when you can’t get one question right? First, take a deep breath and now one more breath because if you’re reading this article you are here for a valid reason. The good thing all students have been there, you’re not alone. You too can get through this and will eventually hold that diploma in your hand and throw that cap up in the air. The secret to getting there is to train like Olympic athletes.

Focus on what you can control

Divide the slides, notes and textbooks that you have to memorize into chunks. Reading 30 pages appears much better mentally and is more approachable in comparison to 100 pages in one day. Follow this strategy also for finals week, divide the subjects into days until the respective final. If you have 3 finals during the same week and read 30 pages from each subject daily, that is still easier to tackle than reading all pages from one final the day before the final. Don’t start studying for the next final until you have taken the other final. Instead, study in advance for the finals simultaneously, especially if you know you have finals in the same week.

Train your mind

Go to the gym or for a run, not only is this a great way to shift your mind away from all the stress but it also prepares your mind to deal with stress. While running or working out you will get your heart racing and feel emotions similar to when you are taking a final. This way, when you are in the exam room your body is subconsciously already familiar with a higher heart rate. Additionally, because you already trained your brain you will be more confident and able to breathe more calmly.

Use the power of imagination

Your beliefs can determine your results. Close to finals week take a step back throughout the day and imagine what it will be like taking the final. Think of: what will the room look like, imagine your lecturer handing you the exam and the students who will take the exam with you. Then think about how you will feel when you see a question in the final that you cannot understand. How will you react? Visualize that you will get back to the question later but meanwhile answer the next question with confidence. Next, envision going back to the question you didn’t first know but this time you know the answer. Furthermore, determine that when you are not confident in your answer that you will still try to answer to the best of your ability. For sure, you have already seen athletes with their headphones before a game or being in the zone, this is when they exercise mental training and imagine all their moves and outcomes. Athletes don’t do this only before a competition, instead visualization is part of their training routine.

Take a break

When you have completed a chapter, finally understood a formula or just feel like nothing goes into your brain, relax and take a break. All Olympic players take a break and it is absolutely necessary to take study breaks. Go outside, leave the campus, meet family, or friends for dinner. Just don’t forget to get back to your study table, otherwise, a break would not be a break anymore but rather an escape, which you will regret once you see your grade.


5 Ways to Ace that Final – Most know study tips for undergrad and graduate students.

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