Change Your Behaviors
Use "Balanced Time." Preparing for finals requires
more time than regular exams. It doesn't mean, though, that
every single remaining minute should be devoted only to study.
Comprehension suffers when you cram. Arrange for strategic
breaks during I to 2 hour study periods. Refresh yourself
with a stretch, splash cold water on your face, eat some energy
food, get fresh air, or have a brief conversation with a study
partner. Though you will devote more time to studying, don't
deprive yourself of everything.
Design a Realistic Schedule. Plan an hourly schedule
of activities for each remaining day before finals. List class
time, what you plan to study, employment, recreation, and
personal time. Check off tasks when you have finished them.
You should know what, where, and when you'll be doing something
at all times. Be realistic. You're not going to study 20 hours
a day, but you might be able to handle 6 to 8 hours if you
pace yourself. Proficiency will be down in your other responsibilities.
Some non-academic activities have to wait until after finals.
Prioritize. Decide which courses need more attention.
Identify your weak areas within each subject. Review these
daily. Subjects in which you're stronger won't require as
Review Previous Quizzes and Exams. Although questions
may not be repeated, the underlying concepts may be. Familiarize
yourself with the kinds of questions asked.
Be Prepared. Have study sheets or flash cards with
you at all times. When you have an extra 5 minutes, review
the handy materials. Arrive at the test site ahead of schedule.
Avoid mingling with test-anxious classmates just before the
exam. Anxiety can be contagious.
Stay in Good Physical Shape. If your mind is to be
alert, your body has to be functioning well. Try a few minutes
of general calisthenics each day. Eat sensibly. Be mindful
of the effects of excessive caffeine and sugar on nervousness.
Avoid non-prescription drugs and minimize your alcohol consumption.
Get regular, restful sleep at night.
Learn to Relax. Some anxiety is necessary to keep
alert, but too much may contribute to panic. When you think
of panicky or fearful thoughts, your body reacts accordingly.
As soon as you think a negative thought, try breathing slowly
and deeply, counting to ten, smiling, stretching or telling
yourself, "the answer will come when I think things through
Solicit Support. Let people close to you know it's
finals time. Ask them to help out with family responsibilities.
Postpone some activities if they interfere too much. Form
study groups with classmates and quiz each other.
Good luck! Remember, to really beat final exam panic next
semester, begin the very first day of class and pace yourself
with regular study and review. If you're feeling the PANIC,
you may wish to consult a member of the counseling psychology
staff. During finals week, the Psychological Services offers
expanded walk-in times where you may come in without anappointment.
Please check in L108 for the hours.