Tips to Help You Prepare for Final Exams:

  • AVOID CRAMMING!  It causes anxiety. Begin preparing for finals now. Study the material in 20-50 minute intervals, giving yourself 5-10 minutes in between for rest.  This is more beneficial than cramming.  Distributed learning over time benefits longer term retention and reduces stress. 

  • EXERCISE!  Twenty minutes of cardio can improve your memory!  Dance, jog, walk, or exercise to increase your energy level and reduce the effects of stress.

  • EAT HEALTHY!  A study from the University of Oxford showed that what you eat a week in advance of your exams is important!  Sixteen students were tested on attention and thinking speed, then fed a five-day, high fat, low-carb diet heavy on meat, eggs, cheese and cream.  When tested again, their performance declined.  The students who ate a balanced diet that included fruits and vegetables held steady.

  • FIND A NEW LOCATION TO STUDY!  Break up the routine and try alternate spaces such as the library, a quiet coffee house, or other designated location with a window and no clutter.

  • AVOID DISTRACTIONS!  No texting, going on Facebook, or surfing!  Also stay away from distracting personalities that take your attention away from your work

  • PRACTICE!  PRACTICE!  PRACTICE!  When possible, take advantage of opportunities to take practice tests!

  • STUDY MATERIAL THAT HAS NOT BEEN DISCUSSED!  This is often where points are missed. Be sure to read and study all assigned materials.

  • NO ALL NIGHTERS!  This will make you tired, anxious, and forgetful.  Findings from a 2008 study at St. Lawrence University showed that all-nighters impair reasoning and memory for as long as 4 days!  As a result, you may receive lower grades. 

(adopted from


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