Study Tips For Finals

Maya Schlessinger, Staff Editor

With finals quickly approaching, it is time for all Pascack Valley students to buckle down and begin studying for their exams. Below is a list of eight study tips to help you ace your tests! 

1) Make a schedule

Once you know when your final is, plan out which days you are going to be studying. I recommend reviewing two units a day until the day before your exam, leaving one day to review everything. If you know you won’t be able to study Friday night, work around it! Making a study plan early will help you feel put together and ready to get to work. Remember, studying a small amount for multiple days is better than cramming more information over less days. UCSD Psychology says that shorter sessions are better as the brain best remembers the beginning and end of each session.

2) Find your study guides

It is important to remember that a final is a cumulative test. You were already tested on these topics. Take a trip down memory lane to grab your old study guides and quizlets. Although the final will be less in depth than these unit quizzes, all of the ideas are already compiled for you in each study guide. Be sure to thank your past self! 

3) “Retake” old tests

What better way to review for an end of year test than to look at the tests you took throughout the year? Tests and quizzes focus on the most important concepts, and may be very similar to the final, especially because the same teacher is creating the final!! Cover the correct answer with another piece of paper as you’re studying and then use it as an answer key. Going over the questions you got wrong is key. 

4) Active recall

Active recall is the best method to see if you are familiar with the information. To practice this strategy, format your study guides or quizlets in question form, so you have to figure out the answer without it being right in front of you. According to Osmosis.org, this active approach will take less time than passively rereading your notes. 

5) Utilize teacher resources

If a teacher is offering review resources, jump at the opportunity! Extra help sessions are the best way to get your questions answered and worries eased. Even if you do not have a lot of questions yourself, it can be very helpful to listen to your classmates’ questions. Optional review guides may be very similar to the test too. Completing as much of it as possible will ensure a higher score!

6) Talk to or teach a friend

The best way to test if you truly comprehend the material is to teach it to someone else. All you need is a friend who needs to better understand the topic. This way, you are helping out a friend and studying. This method is great for extroverts who don’t want to study alone. Talking to a friend who knows the material better than you does has its advantages too. Student-to-student teaching is a different experience than in class because another student may be able to explain it in a more relatable way.

7) Focus on more challenging topics

It’s no use to continue going over topics you know like the back of your hand. Make sure to practice more challenging topics until you’re comfortable with them. One way to do this is to write out commonly missed definitions or ideas to let muscle memory take over. Highlighting these concepts in your notes will make it easier to find them when doing a last-minute review. By making your weaknesses stronger, you are creating a full skill set. 

8) Have confidence

The best part of a final is that you knew it at some point. You know the material better than you think. Remember that this one test won’t make or break your grade. A bad attitude won’t make you score any higher. Confidence is key.