Finals Week: How to Cram for That Test
On Jan. 25, finals week will begin, sending students into a flurry of studying, procrastination, and all nighters. While cramming for tests the night before can be stressful, there are some studying techniques that can assist any student in receiving a good grade on their final exams.
Studying late at night can be hard, especially when exhaustion begins to set in. To avoid falling asleep while reading or reviewing notes, eat or drink something to supply the body with energy. Nuts and seeds have been known to contain the antioxidant vitamin E, which can aid in the brain’s ability to process, evaluate, and memorize information. Coffee, chocolate, and soda also contain caffeine that can help stimulate the body and keep it alert. However, less is often more when using caffeine to study, as too much can cause the body to become jittery and create a loss of focus.
“When I study, I like to drink smoothies because it is something I can continuously drink and make really easily,” Sammi Goto ‘17 said.
Staying at home to study can often lead to distractions that make it more difficult to focus on important information. This can be prevented by going somewhere else to study. Places like libraries, book stores, or classrooms offer a quiet reading atmosphere for any student. Coffee shops or cafes can also be used for studying and usually have free wifi.
Listening to music can also aid the studying process. Music relaxes the mind and cuts out distractions, providing better concentration. Classical music is said to improve the brain’s creativity and thinking abilities. Other electronic genres allow the mind to roam and help reduce the stress that can sometimes come from cramming.
“I listen to classical music while I study because it’s been known to improve your concentration,” Fiona Liang ‘18 said.
Students who spend all night cramming for tests without sleep are not helping themselves prepare for their tests. Sleep deprivation is known to cause anxiety that can increase the amount of stress oriented around test taking. It also impairs alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving, all of which can result in a low test score. Getting at least seven hours of sleep before a test will result in a better test score.