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Want to ace your final exams? Follow these study tips

Final exams for fall classes begin on Friday. Here are five study tips to help you prepare, with insight from Beth Britt, an undergraduate student advisor and associate professor of English.

Cram smartly

Triage—realize that you won’t be able to cover everything and decide up front what you’ll study. Spend your time making sure that you understand bigger concepts. Then go to bed.

Break big tasks into smaller pieces

Start early and break tasks into manageable chunks. Let’s say you have a paper due in five days and you estimate that you’ll need 10 hours total to complete it. Rather than trying to write the paper in 10 hours on the final day, try working on it for two hours each day.

Join a study group

Study groups can be very productive. Because explaining something to someone else can be a great way to learn, one way to organize study groups is for every member to take responsibility for teaching it to the others.

Avoid distractions

Allot yourself a set amount of time to study—say, an hour—without distractions. Turn your cell phone to Do Not Disturb and close your browser on your computer. At the end of the hour, give yourself five minutes to check in. Then return to your distraction-free zone. If you successfully get through an entire study period of several hours, reward yourself with your favorite guilty pleasure.

Unwind by doing something fun

Eat well, sleep well, get some exercise, and do something that you enjoy for at least a few minutes each day. Read a good book just for fun, even if you can only spare five minutes a night.

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