Studying for your college finals is rarely fun or easy, and that’s especially true if you are studying in your second (or third or fourth) language.
If you haven’t found the time to start studying yet, you’d better move fast! (Next semester, get ahead of the game and make sure to review your notes regularly.)
Here are our top five study tips for finals week.
1. Review your notes.
Highlight important terms, ideas and concepts if you haven’t done so already. If you take your notes by hand, try rewriting them by typing them on your computer, and vice versa. Sometimes, reading sections aloud can also be helpful. Additionally, make sure you circle or star sections that you want to review further before finals.
2. Know important keywords.
Make sure you’re comfortable using and explaining the words that are in bold in your textbook. You may be asked during finals to identify these key terms in multiple choice questions or they may play into open ended questions and essays so the more expansive your understanding of them is, the better.
3. Create study cards.
Write practice test questions on one side of a piece of paper or index card, and put the answer on the back. After you have reviewed the questions several times, you can separate the cards and concentrate on the questions that are most difficult for you.
This method also works for studying those key terms we were just talking about. Whether you’re trying to memorize important dates, events or vocabulary words, study cards can be a big help.
4. Study your midterm questions and essays.
Not only will this help you review the major points, but sometimes professors repeat the same questions on their finals. Look out for ones you got wrong last time around and pay extra attention to them so you don’t miss them on the final.
5. Attend study sessions.
Some professors will hold special review sessions before college finals. Who better to prepare you for the final than the person who actually wrote it?
If you’re professor does not organize this type of study event, why not get a study group together with some of your classmates? Everyone can bring the study guides they’ve compiled so you have a larger range of material to work with. Studying in groups can also be more engaging and sometimes even fun — it offers a great break to intensive, individual study sessions.
Remember, the sooner you start reviewing and studying for your final exams, the more well-rested, relaxed and prepared you’ll be when the day arrives. So make sure you begin studying weeks — not days and certainly not hours — before your exams. Good luck!