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via News Record : It’s officially finals week, and with studying and final projects that are due, it is easily understood why everyone is stressed. A lot of times, the stress from studying can actually affect how much information you retain while studying. There are things you can do, however, in order to optimize your studying time and techniques to retain the most amount of information.

Make a plan: Many times if someone is feeling overwhelmed from the amount of exams or projects they have, they will spend the majority of their time worrying instead of studying. In order to avoid this, you can make a plan as to what exams you will study for and how long you will study for each one. Writing down a concrete can help ease the burden of trying to remember everything you have to do from memory. Also, the satisfaction of crossing things off that you’ve completed or studied can ease stress and create a sense of accomplishment and motivation.

Don’t try to multitask: Students think that multitasking is the best way to prepare for a lot of finals without taking up a lot of time. Multitasking is one of the most inefficient ways of studying because your brain can easily get distracted with other things you are doing. In order to avoid this, focus on one project or class at a time. Only have materials out for that class while you are studying and dedicate an equal amount of time to each subject. This can make it easier to focus on one task at a time and retain the most amount of information.

Mix up your studying style: There are several ways to do this. One day you might study for a class using flashcards, and another day you could take practice tests and do practice problems. Doing this will prepare you for different types of questions that could appear on your exam. For example, studying the same deck is only helpful to an extent because it only prepares you for a small frame of question types. Varying studying styles can also help you understand information that you may not have understood before.

Ask questions: If you get stuck on a concept or idea that you can’t understand, email your professor. They are here to help you learn, and your question might even appear on the exam. Also, ask your classmates. They might be having trouble with the same thing you are, and working through it together can help both of you understand it better.

Find the right place to study: Sometimes studying in the library is not the best place to prepare for your exams. During finals week, the library is typically packed and loud from people talking and studying in groups. Several of the buildings on campus have study areas as well that are not as crowded as the library. Also, setting up a space at your desk can be beneficial because it is a comfortable and familiar area that can help you study most effectively.

Take breaks: Give your brain a chance to rest. It can only retain so much information at a time. Every hour or so, take a five-minute break and grab a snack and some water or check your phone for a little bit. This gives you and your brain a break and is a nice way to transition into studying for another class.


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