You’ve almost survived the fall semester and it’s nearly winter break. You’ve made it through midterms, you’ve pulled all-nighters and managed not to kill any of your classmates during that dreaded group work project. Heck you even figured out how to party and write a nine page essay in the same night (Go you!). But there’s one more task looming over your head, one more rite of passage that you must overcome before reaching that winter break…final exams. Don’t stress out! You can reach the Promise Land by testing out these crazy study tips that actually work. Follow these suggestions and they will not only help rock your finals but also keep you stress-free during your study time. Let’s get to it!
Crazy Study Tip #1: Reward Yourself – it’s a great motivator to keep you going.
I found this on Pintrest:
The idea: Eat a gummie bear every time you finish a section. (Replace candy with whatever your vice is though I don’t suggest beers or shots of liquor because that makes you forget and the idea is to retain information not black out )
Crazy Study Tip #2: Laugh a little, laugh a lot.
Have you ever laughed so hard you started crying? Have you ever laughed equally as hard but didn’t cry? According to a random textbook that my sister needs to read for her psychology class, (she goes to Brock) crying when you laugh is due to built up tension and emotion hiding somewhere inside of you. Laughing releases that tension. With so much stress looming over getting a solid grade on your finals, it’s important to take a laughing break. Try watching a funny sitcom or YouTube video. (just make sure it’s only a short break and you return to your studies)
Creating funny acronyms will also help to jog your memory during the big exam. For example, I once learned the phrase “Easter Bunnies Get Drunk At Easter” as a great way to memorize the open strings on a guitar – EBGDAE.
Crazy Study Tip #3: Take an Animal Therapy Break
There is absolutely nothing like a wagging tail and a sloppy wet dog kiss to make you forget your worries. Or if you’re not a dog person, a cute little kitten… or maybe a hedgehog (if you’re a hedgehog kind of person.) Some schools, such as Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, actually have programs during exam periods that bring animals into schools. (Ryerson needs this stat!) The idea is for students to spend time with furry friends to help melt away that exam tension for agitated students.
If you don’t have a cat or dog try going to a pet store that lets you interact with the animals or ask a friend/neighbour if you can take their dog for a walk. Let the cuteness overload melt away your little heart and you’ll be recharged and ready to hit the books.
Crazy Study Tip #4: Be a Teacher
A great way to test your knowledge is by teaching someone else what you know. I use this study technique all the time and it works great. It’s not just about memorizing words but understanding concepts and theories and applying them to your knowledge. Find a friend or your significant other (or someone else who is willing to listen) and explain what you’ve learned. If you can teach them what you know, like a new concept or theory, then you’re ready to rock this exam!
Crazy Study Tip #5: Get Hypnotized
Okay so now I’m legit sounding crazy, but according to hypnosis experts this can actually help. How exactly? Hypnosis allows your conscious and subconscious mind to work together, making it possible to retain information much faster than normal. Experts say that you can use the power of positive affirmation in the same way. Repeat after me:“I am focused and thinking clearly. I am a successful student. I have the power to remember what I studied.” Repeat again.
Just believing you will ace your exam…will help you ace your exam!
Crazy Study Tip #6: Do not underestimate the power of food
Food is your fuel. It can also be a great way to unwind after studying. Cook a delicious meal as a study break and use cooking and eating as a way to relax. It will help you focus, channel your energy and ultimately give you the fuel power you need to prepare for that exam. Studies have also shown that healthy food is better than junk food when studying so avoid the burger and fries and opt for something healthy and delicious. If you’re up late studying, find a friend who also needs to take a break and grab a healthy, delicious meal at a local restaurant. (Just remember to avoid those pints of brown pops; those are for after your exam not before!)
Crazy Study Tip #7: Get some Self Control!
Social media, like crack, is addicting. So what do you do if you can’t stay off facebook and twitter during your study session? Take advantage of this handy app that will give you a love/hate relationship with your computer. The “Self Control” free Mac application allows you to set a time limit on certain websites that are distracting you from the books. Simply type in the name of a site that tempts you towards distraction and it will adhere to your strict rules. Until your time limit expires it won’t let you access those websites even if you reset your computer.
Crazy Study Tip #8: No all nighters!
Chances are you’ve pulled one or two of these over the past few months but honestly cramming is the worst thing you can do before an exam. Not only are you stressing about learning an entire semester worth of knowledge in a few hours, but most likely you’re going to forget what you’ve learned AND miss out on sleep which essential before writing a final. The part of our brains that deals with memory is more active when we sleep, so even if you spent all night cramming information into your head, chances are you won’t remember any of it anyways. Insufficient sleep also messes with concentration and your ability to make decisions, meaning you won’t be focused for that final. Take my advice and get plenty of sleep before you write that test.
The bottom line is this:
Exams are stressful for everyone but preparing for it will ease your tension.
The most important thing to do is manage your time well, take study breaks and try to relax. There are so many hours in the day if you use them productively then you won’t have time to stress. Plus if you worry too much about failing, you will fail! (Positive affirmation remember?) Aim for that harmonious Zen by eat, sleep, study, repeat. Your brain and body will be happy… and so will you when you ace those finals.
Good luck on your exams Ryerson!