Preparing for final exams more effectively

Photo Credit: Zoe Archambault

Photo Credit: Zoe Archambault

First semester is drawing to a close and with that comes one of the most stressful times of year — final exams. Though stress is a normal part of student life, there are a few ways students can avoid being over-stressed during this period and feel more prepared for their tests.

There are a number of tips and strategies that students use to help them study for final exams. Though strategies will differ based on the individual, here are five common tips that many students incorporate into their exam preparations.

Setting aside enough time to study. Many students create study schedules that are designed around their particular learning and studying style. Creating a plan can help eliminate a lot of the anxiety and pressure that can come from not being organized and leaving things for the last minute.

Practice on old exams. Brock’s library provides a database with past examinations across most of the courses currently offered by the university. These past exams can serve as a good resource to see the format and formulation of past questions. This can help students to not only know what to expect but also serve as practice for measuring the time needed to complete an actual exam.

Take regular breaks. Regular breaks are needed for the brain to regain its focus. It is oftentimes not the best tactic to study long hours because long-term retention of knowledge is almost impossible without breaks in between.

Organize study groups. Many students form study groups with friends and acquaintances from their program. These study groups can help students get the answers they need and finish tasks faster. Though some students prefer individual study, group study might be worth consideration while preparing for exams.

Eating and sleeping properly. Students should try not to eat unhealthy food while they are studying. Choosing vitamin-rich food has been shown to improve concentration and memory while heavily processed foods have been found to not be as effective in providing energy and focus. It is equally as important to ensure that a proper sleep routine is maintained so that the brain and body can recover.

In the coming week, Brock A-Z Learning Services will be hosting four workshops to help students better prepare for their examinations.

On Wednesday, November 27, the team will be hosting a workshop called ‘Increasing Concentration’. The workshop will be held in ST230 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and seeks to provide students with strategies to help increase their ability to focus and better control their attention.

On Thursday, Nov. 28, A-Z Learning Services will be hosting a workshop called ‘Exams: Build a Five Day Study Plan’. The workshop will focus on helping students create an effective study plan. This workshop will be held in ST230 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. On that same day in ST30 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., the team will be hosting a workshop on time management and avoiding procrastination.

Friday, Nov. 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. will see the A-Z Learning Services team hosting their workshop with a focus on academic integrity in ST230. Attendees will receive strategies and resources to help avoid academic misconduct at Brock.

Throughout the coming weeks, a variety of other departments and organizations will continue to facilitate events and workshops geared towards aiding students with their exam preparation. Students interested in attending these events can visit ExperienceBU where they will be posted.

Interested students are encouraged to visit A-Z Learning Services in TH 129 to connect with resources to aid them in exam preparation. Students can also email the team at learning@brocku.ca or call 905 688 5550 x5774.

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