Finals Week! – 6 Study Tips & Tricks

October 5, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Finals week is quickly approaching and it’s
crunch time. How you decide to manage your time and plan
your studying over the next couple weeks will dictate how you perform on exam day. Stay tuned for 6 tips to help you ace your
final exams. What’s going on guys! This is Jay from MedSchoolInsiders.com. Let’s get straight to it. First and most importantly, go into the last
couple of weeks with a plan and get your calendar out and mark the days for each exam. Based on the test days, work your way back
with how you want to review the information. For example, let’s say you have a final
on Monday December 5th and Thursday December 8th. If the first test is much harder and requires
more studying, you may focus solely on that, and then only start studying for test two
only after finishing test one. On the other hand, if the first test is easier,
you may start studying for the second test well before your first test, and then only
study for test 1 for a couple days leading up to it. This obviously depends on your course load
and which finals you have, so figure out what works best for you. Now when I say ‘plan what you’re going to
study’, I literally mean write out what chapters or what topics you plan to review for each
day leading up to the exam. Final exams generally include all of the information
since the beginning of the course. I recommend spending less time reviewing information
that was tested on the midterm and more information from the second half of your course. This is for two reasons. First, you should already be familiar with
information from the first half of the class, after all you took a test on it and therefore
you will need less time to review it. Second, final exams generally favor information
that hasn’t been already assessed in prior exams. Meaning, even though the class is technically
supposed to include information from the whole course, it probably includes a majority of
information since after the midterm. Now, when you’re making this plan, give yourself
some wiggle room. You will probably fall behind on your schedule,
so have a few “catch-up” blocks to account for this. Also, if you are not able to review all the
information that you wanted to on your schedule, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world,
you can still totally do well on your exam. Now, don’t neglect other areas of your life. True story, I had a friend in college who
took pride in the fact that during finals week, he would not shower for four or five
days straight at a time. That is disgusting, please do not do this. It’s important to remember that you can only
study and absorb so much information in a day. By neglecting other areas of your life, you’re
not doing yourself any favors. Remember, you have to be well-rested, well-fed,
healthy and not stinky to maximize return on your studying and also performance come
test day. Because you can only study so many hours in
a day, longer hours yields diminishing returns, therefore efficiency is the name of the game. Schedule your study breaks around meals, errands
and exercise. For example, wake up, have breakfast then
study for two hours using Pomodoro. At your break, start laundry then do another
two hours of Pomodoro, then have lunch followed by another two hours of Pomodoro. At this point, you’re probably pretty tired
of studying, so go to the gym and get a workout in. I have more information on the Pomodoro Technique
in this video above. Use group study but don’t overdo it. Group study is excellent to maintain motivation
and discuss difficult concepts. However, it also generally slows you down. Therefore, only group study occasionally. Have an agenda with the group as to what lectures
or topics you all want to go over and this will help keep you guys on track. Taking turns teaching difficult concepts to
one another will also benefit everyone involved, especially in classes that are heavy on concepts
and have essay based questions. More on that next. So, tailor your study approach based on the
exam. For physics, math or chemistry, doing loads
of practice questions is probably one of the best ways to prepare for your exam. The exam is gonna have a series of problems
that you need to solve and show your work for. But remember, making sure you review and understand
the mistakes you made are also equally important. So, for more conceptual classes like neurophysiology
or biology, essay questions are more common. Group study here is actually great to reinforce
those difficult concepts. If you can teach a concept to someone else,
chances are that you have a solid grasp of it and you’re ready for the exam. For multiple choice questions, memorization
is king. I recommend focusing on flashcards with space
repetition. The gold standard for this is ANKI. It’s a free software for your computer and
I go over how to use it in this video above. Be sure to do your scheduled ANKI cards every
single day. Waiting until the last couple of days defeats
the purpose of spaced repetition. I talked briefly about spaced repetition and
incorporating Anki into your study routine in this video above. No all-nighters! Do not fall into the trap of thinking that
pulling an all-nighter is the best way to improve your test score. In very very rare situations, is it ever a
good idea to deprive yourself of significant sleep before an exam? It’s more important for you to be sharp than
for you to be cramming before your test. You’ll be tired while studying and during
test day. Additionally, you lose out on the benefits
of REM sleep which actually helps consolidate information you learned. Which brings me to another point, going back
to scheduling your study times and breaks. I recommend you study right before sleeping
for this exact benefit; information learns right before bed has greater rates of retention,
use this to your advantage. Alright guys, that is it for this video. If you found any of these tips helpful, please
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that subscribe button if you have not already and I will see you guys in that next one!