5 study tips to prepare you for finals

student studyingView print quality image
A student working on a project in the Campus Center at IUPUI. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

Finals are almost here, so it's time to start studying. To help, Bepko Learning Center Director Mark Minglin shared his top tips to improve your study skills.

Know your exam

To help study for your exam, you need to know three things: the format, the topic and the logistics.

The format includes what type of questions the test will have. Is it multiple choice or maybe essays? You'll also want to know what topics the test will cover. Some finals are comprehensive; others focus more on specific lessons.

How you will be taking the test is also important. Logistics like where you will be taking the test, what day and time, and required materials can impact your final.

Manage your time

During finals time, make academics your top priority. To avoid cramming, find some "slow time" you can use to work ahead and get assignments done before exams.

Set up your study schedule

Keep yourself organized by creating a study schedule before finals; block out 45-minute study sessions with breaks in-between. Be sure to include review in each or your sessions so you don't forget the material you already studied. Stick to the schedule, and don't procrastinate!

Choose a study method

There are a lot of ways to study. Some helpful methods include reading notes, writing flash cards and recording lectures. Another is writing practice questions. They can be fill-in-the-blank, multiple-choice, short answer, or anything else you can think of to test your memorization and recall.

Breaking down exam content into different sections also helps. Study one section at a time, and then go back and review it before moving on to the next. Most importantly, do what works best for you.

Take care of yourself

Finals can be very stressful, so make sure you are taking care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep during finals week, and eat plenty of "brain foods" like fruits, vegetables and protein. It is also important to carve out time for yourself. Be sure to specifically add self-care time when making a schedule.

Find more study and test taking strategies on the Bepko Learning Center's website. You've got this, Jags!