Ten tips for finals

Finals: that inevitable force that intrudes upon our already hectic lives each year.  It marks a sacred time of year, when student’s meal plans dwindle like the last of the autumnal foliage. It also marks the time of year when students’ hearts pump pure coffee, Redbull and hatred for their professors, and everyone looks forward to indulging in a long month of mindless tranquility.  Don’t shut down for the semester just yet; The Ranger News will provide you with a few helpful hints to salvage your grades and what is left of your sanity.

1. Revisit old notes and quizzes to make flashcards.  This will help you memorize more effectively, force you to revisit old material and it will allow a roommate or friend to help you study.
2. Work out.  Taking a little bit of time out to walk, jog or perform any form of physical activity that releases stress will make you feel better.

3. Caffeine can be effective in moderation.  During dire times of little to no sleep, caffeine becomes the college student’s best friend and last life line.  While grabbing that extra energy drink or cup of coffee can make an afternoon of studying more bearable, try to limit caffeine consumption, as it can have adverse effects.
4. Visit the library.  Bring classmates, friends, or go solo to spread out your materials and enjoy the quiet, academic intensive environment.  Rent out the study rooms with groups for group study sessions.
5. This is a tip that will not only benefit you, but everyone around you.  Finals are not an excuse for personal health and hygiene to go out the window.
6. Sleep.  As rudimentary as it sounds, getting a good night’s sleep will make your body and brain function much better.
7. Take breaks.  It has been proven that the human brain focuses more effectively with small breaks.  Moreover, you will not retain as much if you do not allow your brain time to recuperate.  Make sure to allow yourself five to ten minute breaks for every half hour to hour of studying.
8. Avoid distractions like Facebook.  Facebook, Twitter, stumbleupon, ESPN, online Christmas shopping and other websites are addicting and should be used sparingly, if at all during finals week.  Social networking sites seem to only foster procrastination.  While students always seem to enjoy commiserating and creating snarky acronyms for “finals” on Facebook, they are defeating the purpose of studying when they spend more time complaining.
9. Create a study play list.  A wise man named Don McLean once asked, “Can music save your mortal soul?”  Yes, it can.
10. Finally, take finals seriously, but not too seriously. Finals, though they are important, should not be the end-all, be all for your final grade.  Most are usually worth around 20%, meaning students should have already established the majority of their grade earlier in the semester.  Making a consistent and productive effort throughout the semester will not only better your grade, but it will create less of a headache at the end of the semester.  Take this in stride as you embark on the upcoming semester.

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