By: Nataliya Sulyk, PharmD Candidate c/o 2015
Often waiting until the very last minute to begin studying for finals week, students experience a cycle of stressors. They may be overwhelmed with project deadlines, exhausted from studying for examinations, and/or dependent on caffeine for wakefulness. Fortunately, by developing effective studying habits and strategies, students can increase their chances of successful ends to the semester.
Final examinations, especially if cumulative, should be easier to tackle if students review course material each and every week – similar to what is expected for English classes and their respective reading assignments. Alas, this is not always the case, even if considered ideal and compatible with some professors’ thinking. Throughout the semester, students have various responsibilities that may impede their ability to continue this studying schedule. They are left exhausted and seeking mental relief after meeting daily work, family, religious, and other important obligations. Yet, days continue to pass by, and finals week approaches ever so quickly as the red-colored Sharpie cross-outs overwhelm their calendars.
So, how can students relieve some of the stress during finals week? Although “cramming” may seem like an attractive option, it is generally not a beneficial investment. It would be quite difficult to learn a semester’s-worth of information in one night. Perhaps a more straightforward and effective approach to studying is utilizing a single piece of paper to create a two-week calendar that indicates the days and times of the finals. Then, students can assign time slots for the workload, and eventually complete small fractions of it each night. Finally, they can review pertinent material during the night prior to the examination. If students accomplish less than what they anticipated in the first couple of days, a few modifications are permissible. However, in the end, this single piece of paper becomes a contract – it is an agreement that almost guarantees to relieve the stress, pain, headaches, and nervous breakdowns that may accompany study sessions.