Image: Jayla Moody

Junior Brandon Jern said his favorite finals tip is to time yourself for an hour while doing nothing but school. “Take a 10 minute break and do it all over again. This ensures you actually study for an hour instead of 30 minutes distracted and 30 minutes of work,” he said.

Moody Musings: Finals Week Survival Guide

As another semester comes to an end, the time of the year that we’re either looking forward to, or dreading, is upon us. We get one week to show that we were productive and proactive throughout the semester and if we weren’t, we must have the skills and determination to make it look as if we were.

That’s a lot of pressure in this final week and if you’re not careful, you can easily become a victim to what I like to call “finalitis.” But if you take the right steps before and throughout the week, you’ll have the perfect recipe for a successful finals week.

  1. Create a schedule

The times and dates of each final exam can be found online on the Mercer registrar office’s website. Once you figure out when each test is, you can determine when you need to study and how much time should be dedicated to studying for each exam or completing each project. This can reduce pre-exam stress or feeling like you don’t have enough time to complete or fully prepare for everything.

  1. Get some sleep

Twenty-four-hour study rooms are there for you, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to always use them for that long. If you’re tired and up studying, you won’t retain the information as well as you would if your brain was awake. University of Bristol lead researcher Jack Mellor found that a good night’s sleep can help enhance your memory.

According to the research, “daytime patterns of brain activity are replayed at fast-forward speed during sleep . . . and the key new finding is that sleep helps strengthen the microscopic connections between nerve cells active in the hippocampus, the brain’s central filing system for memory. These nerve connections are deemed critical for memory consolidation.”

So before you decide to stay up all night, consider your options and remember that the information you cram may not even be retained by test time. Get some sleep.

  1. Give yourself a study break

There aren’t any exams on Wednesday of finals week. Take some time that day and Tuesday evening for self-care. Whether you spend it exercising, having some fun with friends, eating at  your favorite restaurant or just getting a little more sleep, you will thank yourself for it later. This will help eliminate stress by giving you some time to be active and get your mind off of exams and projects.

You are more than capable of making it through finals week sane and successful. Prepare, don’t be so hard on yourself and trust in your hard work and preparation. It’ll be over soon, and before you know it, you’ll have something positive to show for it.

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