Tackling Finals Week!


Elycia Johnson, Writer

As finals week nears, it is normal and understandable to be experiencing stress, anxiety, and frustration. Thoughts of grades settle in, and the pressure increases as each day passes. We all have experienced the harsh reality of staying up late and cramming for a final we know we should have been preparing for weeks in advance. Though we are not always mindful of the correct ways to study and prepare for finals and instead we indulge ourselves in hours long late-night study sessions that do nothing but damage our health. There are some better, healthier ways to study for finals and get the most of these study sessions. 


Make a study plan:

Though this may seem unnecessary, it is important to have a plan on when to study and what to study. As college students, we are already feeling the stress of everything we must re-learn in such a short amount of time. Having a schedule not only helps organize your thoughts and plan but writing down a plan makes you more likely to actually fulfill this goal. 


Ask for help:

This is a great time to meet with your instructors to get extra help on topics you may be struggling with or need a better understanding of. GCCC offers free tutoring and a writing center to help you get the best help possible. Teachers also have office hours where they are open to help you with any questions you may have. 


Study with a group or friend:

This can easily turn into something less productive, but when using your peers to study it can drastically improve memory and retention. Studies have shown that teaching someone the subject you are learning and studying helps with memory retention and understanding the topic at hand. If you can teach it, you are most likely to succeed. 


Remove Distractions:

This may be self explanatory to remove any distractions such as our phones but our environment plays a key role in studying as well. Find a place where you can focus, for some that may be the library or their room. Everyone is different and certain settings may be more distracting for some than others. It is important to turn off any notifications and alarms when studying.


Take Breaks!

As mentioned before, we may be inclined to spend all night studying. Not only is this unhealthy but studies have shown that this method is less effective than we think. Studying when tired and hungry makes studying much harder and less effective. One tip to use for this is using the 40/20 rule. Study for 40 mins and take a 20 minute break. This can include grabbing a snack to eat or a quick 20 minute nap before tackling the next 40 mins. This has shown effectiveness because there is a goal at hand. Telling yourself to focus and push out 40 minutes of studying is more effective than non-stop studying. You will be able to study more and retain more information knowing that there will be a break soon. In addition, it is important to get a good amount of sleep during these weeks.


When putting all these tips together, planning your study schedule and information, asking instructors for help, using study groups, a healthy environment, and effective study methods this can take some stress off and help you study effectively and tackle finals with the utmost confidence. Good Luck!