- Be well rested. Sleep is a very important part in preparing for taking a final. I highly recommend getting at least the college average of 2.5 hours the night before any final.
- Cram. All the "experts" say that there is no use in cramming. Umm really? Did these experts even go to college? If they did I bet they were all bookworms who never left the library. Hey experts, get a life and have some fun. I have my first final Thursday afternoon and you don't see me studying for it. I probably wont even open a book until Wednesday night. I have alcohol to drink.
- Eat a healthy breakfast. This one seems to contradict the first two tactics. Unless you're dining hall has breakfast all day I don't understand how you could cram, get 2.5 hours of sleep and still wake up in time for breakfast.
- Find a quiet place. If you are like me you are easily distracted. For example before I sat down to write this I was planing on studying. Then I went to the dining hall for some breakfast (at 1:15pm) and when I got back to my room I had the idea to write a post about how to study correctly. The library can tend to get really crowded so take advantage of the study lounges/halls in the various academic buildings.
- Don't just read. You will probably start day dreaming and you'll be halfway through a chapter before you realize what book you're reading. Highlight key phrases and then go back and take notes on everything you highlighted. It is especially important to study actively for dense reading.
- Don't rely on spark notes. Take advantage of the various sources you have. For example I usually read spark notes, then I google the author and read his Wikipedia page. Cross-referencing is a great study tactic.
- Study in chunks. Study for 25-45 minutes and take a break. You brain wont learn if it is tired. I usually will listen to some music or play video games for about 10-15 minutes. Sometimes I'll take a shot or two or seven or smoke a bowl to stay relaxed between study sessions.
- Remember the college diet. You can never go wrong will drinking a few Red Bulls all day while you study and then pounding some Nyquil to get that important 2.5 hours of sleep. Then wake up and drink a few more Red Bulls and ace that exam. Caffeine pills always work too.
- Time management. Don't waste you're time studying things yo already know. Figure out what you don't know and learn that. Also, figure out which final will be harder (or which class you need a better grade in) and spend more time studying for that one. This correlates well with the next tip.
- Make priorities. It's up to you to decide what is more important, studying or going to that awesome party. It can be a tough decision especially if you heard that cute girl who sits behind you in lecture talking about going to the party. If you do decide to study (loser!) chances are that you wont fail all your classes, even if you fail all your finals, maybe just one or two. So put more effort into the more important final.
- Don't over study. Many students over study and they loose sight of what college is really about, beer. Relax, take a deep breath and pound that beer bong!
Good luck with you're finals. You can do it!
Stay classy, not UMassy.