By Reagan Pepper
Every semester, students are faced with finals. Along with the stress that comes with final exams, the fatigue of school usually causes students to slack off during those last weeks of their semester. While some students smoothly sail through their finals, others fall short, failing an exam or even skipping it altogether. Countless articles have been written and countless studies have been conducted, as to how a student can better prepare for finals. But what should a student not do? A student can easily get caught up in the latest study tips or the best-working energy drink without ever being productive. The truth is, students can take all the advice they want from the Internet on what to do but never be successful, because they don’t know what not to do. There are five major “don’ts” when it comes to the end of the semester.
Don’t skip class. Every class counts, especially now. A lot of students skip class during the last few weeks. This costs them vital information that will no doubt be on the final. Teachers are not giving up on the next few weeks; neither should students. In the event that a class must be skipped, find someone in the class who can provide good thorough notes on what was covered that day. Simply showing up to class has the potential to increase a student’s final grade.
Don’t disregard the syllabus. The syllabus was designed by the teacher to help students by informing them of what is to come in the class. The syllabus will list what assignments are coming up, allowing students time to see what they will need to be prepared for. It also usually tells how much the assignments are weighted in regards to a student’s final average. In addition, the syllabus conveniently lists all of the teacher’s contact information on it, as well as that teacher’s office hours.
Don’t procrastinate. The last thing needed during this time is added stress due to procrastination. It is rare, if not completely unheard of, that a teacher will wait until the week before finals to tell students of a large paper or project. If there is a large project due before or during finals week, break the project down into parts. Dedicate however much time is needed to completing these parts, that way the project gets done over time without becoming overwhelming. This will take a large amount of stress away from finals week and allow time to study for important tests.
Don’t stay up late cramming the night before a final. This is the number one mistake a student makes. UCLA conducted a study that found that students who stayed up late cramming the night before a test, reported of having poor academic performance the next day, which is the exact opposite result of what the student was hoping for. The whole idea behind this is sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers/young adults require 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep. They also reported that most teens are not getting this amount. This lack of sleep means that students are not allowing enough time for their brains to rest. Sleep is crucial and completely necessary for healthy brain activity.
Don’t study somewhere popular. During finals, students crowd the school’s library. This results in a social hour more than a productive study environment. If studying alone is the best option, then pick somewhere secluded. However, continue to be wary, because being alone still doesn’t ensure a productive environment.
“My distraction is wanting to be outside doing everything but homework,” Candy Morrow, a sophomore studying elementary education from Senatobia, said.
When it comes to finals, stress can elevate to new levels. Just remember that there are only a few weeks left, so persevere, breathe, follow these guidelines and make finals week a breeze.