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With so many finals drawing near, it’s good to have a game plan to get good grades and here’s what students suggest.
1. Start early. David Lee, a 20-year-old sophomore accounting major said he started reviewing over Thanksgiving break.
“Breaks are a nice time to relax and start backtracking on material you may have forgotten,” Lee said. “Currently, for every new material I learn in my classes, I review one or two important topics from earlier in the semester.”
2. Join a study group and use Web sites. Studying in groups is a good way to review material, but it may not be helpful for everyone.
“Don’t study in groups if you know it won’t be productive,” Lee said.
Another alternative is to join Web sites like Studyblue.com. Studyblue is a forum where students can post notes from their classes. It also shows who is in what classes so students can get in contact with classmates.
Studyblue is also a good tool to use to study alone; it has flashcards, quizzes and brain games.
3. Avoid distractions. Andrea Tice, a 19-year-old freshman Japanese major, said distractions are her biggest problem when studying.
“I get distracted easily so this year I’m going to fight it,” Tice said. “Since I stay up ‘til about 5 a.m. I will study then because then there will be no one in my room.”
One of Lee’s distractions is his Facebook account, so to study better he decided to get rid of it.
“I got together with a friend, and we each disabled each others’ Facebook to limit distractions,” Lee said. “The only way to re-enable it was to ask each other, so it was a good support system.”
4. Don’t cram. The best way to retain all of the information is to do sections of it every day. Lee said he tries to break up studying for his finals.
“Don’t cram, especially the night before or minutes before the exam,” Lee said. “Reviewing is not the same as cramming.”
5. Do a practice test. Tice said she creates her own practice test before major exams.
“I fake the test and write everything down,” Tice said. “If it has essay questions then I write the whole thing down.”
On Studyblue, users can create quizzes on material that will be on their test.
6. Take breaks. After long sessions of studying, it’s best to take a break and think about something else. Lee said this is an important part of studying for finals.
“Since finals are so important, I buckle down to study for three hours after classes, but then I stop to reward myself,” Lee said. “Whether that’s letting myself watch television, play video games, hang with friends, or treat myself to non-dorm food.”
Lee also said not to pull all-nighters and to keep a positive attitude while studying.
“Don’t start panicking the day of the exam,” Lee said. “In fact, allow yourself to relax, because at this point, you either know it or you don’t. If you panic, even if you know everything, you will start freaking out minutes before the exam and begin to forget material.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Brigid Igoe at Brigid.firstname.lastname@example.org.