Final Exam Tips

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Exams: It’s a word that has put dread in the hearts of millions of students throughout the years. Nobody enjoys exams, but they’re a staple part of the education experience. At Central Valley Christian Schools, it’s drawing closer and closer to exam season. From the 22nd to 25th of May, we’ll have high school final exams and AP exams (more specific information can be seen in the calendar section of our Parent Central page), and students will very soon start studying for the final exams of the year. Instead of waiting until a few days before, panicking over the last 72 hours and studying without pattern, why not start earlier and follow some tried and true tips? Today, we’ll give you some general information to prepare for your final exams—but these aren’t just for our students in Visalia. Browse through our tried and true tips, as you get ready to study for your final exams.

1. Begin with your basic prep.

Before you start studying, try to break everything down so you won’t be so overwhelmed. Get some general information about the final: What kind of format will it be? When exactly is it? Are there any chapters or sections that will be excluded? If you like, meet your teacher or a tutor and get some more information and advice. Armed with this material, you can make your big to-do list and try to schedule things for the rest of the semester. You’re ready to start!

2. Vary your techniques.

Don’t just sit down and re-read old material. You need to find a pattern that works and then mix it up. A good way to get started is to make summary sheets: type them out or handwrite them so the information sticks in your head. Then review this over and over. Try drawing things to represent and organize info, like tables or mind maps. Another method you can try is mnemonic devices, like acronyms or rhymes or songs to make sure you remember the information. The method doesn’t matter as much as making sure the information sticks.

3. Look beyond what you have to offer.

Try exchanging notes or study materials with your classmates, or work in study groups—but make sure you actually work! It can be useful to get a fresh set of eyes or a different perspective, especially on material that varies from multiple choice or true/false formats. A tip many students forget is to check their textbooks: Often there are additional online study aids or free materials available with the purchase of your book. These can range from practice tests to flashcards and more. Give it a go!

4. Make sure your group work is thorough.

While some people avoid group work because they just chat a lot, it can be very productive when done right. Make quizzes with your group, and pass them around.  See what you found important and what they did. Don’t split up the material. There’s a chance you’ll both miss valuable information. Do it twice and see what comes up. Whether it’s flash cards or acronyms, two heads are better than one. And when you think you know the material, study it one more time to be sure!

5. Be sure not to overload yourself.

It can often be difficult to stay focused, so instead of just saying “Today I want to study a lot,” say, “Today I want to focus on chapters 4-6 and write a practice essay.” Then, break that down into smaller, measurable goals, and reward yourself whenever you hit a milestone. Maybe you can get 10 minutes of phone time, or go grab a snack. Give yourself something to look forward to so you don’t become depressed or exhausted. Finally, make sure to keep your anxiety in check. Find what works best for you so you aren’t overwhelmed. Whether it’s breathing exercises, yoga, calming music, or hitting the gym, it’s important to take care of yourself so you don’t burn out before your final exams.

6. Stay healthy!

Similar to our last point, but we can’t overstress this one. When you’re stressed out, it’s easy to sink into bad habits and eat unhealthy junk food. This will only make it harder for you to stay focused in the long run. Get plenty of sleep and try not to drink too much caffeine. Load up on fruits and veggies too, and get some of that brain food!

While getting ready for finals can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. We get that at Central Valley Christian Schools; so if you need more information, feel free to ask us for more advice!

Get in touch for more tips on final exams prep!

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