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Dear Charlie: How Do I Start Preparing for Finals?


Dear Charlie is an advice column that allows readers to ask Charlie for guidance on how to deal with problems. Whether it’s about love, friendships, or frustrations, Charlie is here to give you tips and ideas for tackling life’s everyday challenges. Readers can ask Charlie for advice through DM via our Instagram @liubknews, or anonymously through this form.

Alright everyone, we are officially on the last stretch of the semester. Picture the cool waves, nice tans, and exploring all kinds of new places for the summer.

However, before we get a little too far into dreaming about summer vacation, we must face the most dreadful part at the end of any semester: finals.

One to two weeks of sleepless nights before we can fully relax for four months. The amount of stress and panic will be through the roof.

Or, will it? It doesn’t have to be what most people think of. There’s no need to plan out your day by the hour, I got a few tips that can help you feel prepared to take on those pesky finals.

As I mentioned earlier, planning out your day by the hour is really tedious and honestly, you don’t know what will happen during the day. Now your schedule is behind and that studying time is lost.

Instead of that, you should try planning which days you’ll study for certain subjects. For example, if you know that the first final you have to take is biology, it’s best you put that in priority and study that subject longer.

Of course you’ll need to give yourself a break, so once you get tired of studying that subject, switch to another for a little to give your brain a quick rest before diving back in.

That leads to my tip, which is give yourself a break sometimes. Seriously, the final isn’t going anywhere. No matter how much you worry, it’s still going to be there for you.

So when your body is telling you it’s tired, listen to it. Ignoring it only makes the consequences later on have a longer effect.

This could lead to not getting enough sleep, going prolonged periods of time without eating, or your brain forgetting information for the test, which defeats the entire purpose of studying.

Take your snack break or nap to give yourself the best advantage in remembering information for the final.

Next up is to find your environment. This is key to your success. Whether it be your room, the library, or even outside, make it so you want to prepare for those finals.

Like listening to music? Put some calming music in the background. Don’t put your favorite songs in the queue because let’s face it, you’ll be there singing the lyrics instead of studying. But if it works for you, by all means do it.

Factors like that help you prepare because it puts you in the zone to learn and remember. It also helps you with your nerves as well, because once that test is put in front of you, you won’t feel as anxious or nervous like everyone else may be feeling.

It’ll also help if you find tactics and strategies that are best for you to study. If you know that reading information on an index card doesn’t work for you, why do it? It’ll be doing you more harm than good because you’re not into as much.

If you study better talking out loud to yourself or moving around, do that instead. A lot of people seem to forget that there is no right or wrong way to prepare for tests. It is all about how you take in information best for you.

At the end of the day, only you know what works for you, so don’t fight it. Embrace it.

Going off that, try getting some people in your classes and form a study group. If they know something that maybe you’re still confused about, you can ask them about it and they’ll probably be able to explain it to you in a better way.

We sometimes learn best from our peers, so don’t deny yourself that opportunity. Now if your friends are in that class, that’s even better. Throw a little study party in somebody’s room to get some studying in.

Finally, I’ll suggest that you find some mock tests online to help you prepare for what some of the questions will look like.

The better you know how to handle certain types of questions means the quicker you’ll be to answer them on the actual exam. Don’t forget that when you finish it, look over it just to make sure everything is fine before turning it in.

I hope some of these tips will help you, and remember the prize at the end: summer vacation!

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