Preparing for Finals; the Scientific Solution

Written by: Lane Barrette, Editor in Chief

As finals week creeps closer and closer, the stress of finals can become a realization to many students. Preparing for said finals week, to some students, may seem like a hassle. Finals will take place from Dec. 18-20. According to statistics and studies, there are scientific ways to prepare for these upcoming finals that could prove useful.

*Start Studying Earlier

Instead of cramming in one study session the night before finals and getting very stressed, starting the studying process earlier helps in many areas, and not just in reducing stress. The American Psychology Association states, “spacing out study sessions over a longer period of time improves long-term memory”. Starting earlier not only helps prepare students for the actual finals, but also keeps the sanity of students at ease.

*Ask Questions

“Pursued properly, a good question also can be an excellent vehicle with which to start a process of inquiry,” National Institute of Health stated in an article entitled The Value of Asking Questions. To truly understand a topic, one must have the confidence to ask questions in order to further examine the material being taught. It may seem awkward asking teachers about the material, but teachers are available to answer any questions students have about said material in the classroom. Getting through finals will most likely be difficult if there are some questions floating around that are unanswered.

*Take Breaks had done a study on the differing study routines between two groups: one group was comprised of students with a study session that contained no breaks and the second group was comprised of students with a study session with a break in the middle of the study time. These studies found that performance began to progressively decline at the 50-minute mark for students who had no break during the study time. On the flip side, researchers noted that the switch group[group of students with a break] remained sharp and on-task for the entire duration of the study time. Not only do students have to study less, the time spent studying is more beneficial if routinely breaks are taken during the allotted study time.

*Stay Well Rested and eat well

According to JRN 203: Finals Report, only around 12% of students achieve the full recommended, eight hours of sleep per night during finals week. According to the same study, over 30% of students consume 3 or more drinks of caffeine the night before their exams. Not only are students lacking in the necessary sleep teenagers need to have the most active brain, to compensate for this lack of brain awakeness, they are consuming more unneeded caffeine. .

Stated in an article by Kevin Purdy, founder of TedxBuffalo, studies found that excessive caffeine hurts users after a short-term timeframe and only helps the drinker stay awake, and hinders brain functionality.

*Help Classmates

If there is any confusion with the topics that will possibly be found on finals, there is most likely classmates that are struggling with the same topics. Annie Murphy Paul, author of Origins, stated, “Students enlisted to tutor others, these researchers have found, work harder to understand the material, recall it more accurately and apply it more effectively”. Learning a subject could be made easier if one were to help and explain the process or the material to someone else.