By Allison Johnson
Blog Content Contributor
April, AKA, save your GPA month just ended, which means, finals are approaching. A friend of mine once said, “You did not drop that class for a reason, you believed!” You might be thinking well I should’ve dropped the class. Well it’s too late. You believed. You came this far and you need to finish out strong. Hopefully if you’re reading this you at least have a few more days till you have to take a final, but if you’re down to a day, or even hours, you still have hope. Last semester I heard a student yell in the quad, “Who says you can’t learn a semester worths of material today?” Like Mac said, “Well first of all, through God all things are possible, so jot that down.”
I am guilty of not studying until hours before an exam; I wouldn’t recommend it for finals, but here we are. Life happens. Even though you’re short on studying time you should want to aim for an A not a mediocre B minus. Can you imagine what an A can do for your overall grade? Getting a B or C will only keep you at the same letter grade or might drag it down. I know we all fall short sometimes when you have a lot going on in your life with four or even more finals to take. If your final is revolved around math or anything related to stats, ask your professor what you’ll see a lot of on your final. They’ll most likely tell you which concepts you’ll see, so learn those quick. Something that helped me learn a few concepts in a day for stats last semester was choosing an example from each concept, and doing the same four problems repeatedly until I memorized the steps without having to refer to the book. It got so tedious that when I saw the final, all I had to do was plug in different numbers into the equation. Make SLAC or the stats lab your best friend right before the exam.
If you’re taking a chemistry, biology or physics final, I am so sorry. You’re going to need to anoint your pencil and scantron with praying oil.
If your exam is an essay, you might already know or have an idea of the topic you have to write about. Write a rough draft essay, or even just a well structured outline. Memorize the major points you want to make in the essay and you should be fine. Jot down textual evidence now, so you won’t feel too stressed over what you’re going to write about the day of.
If a big portion of your exam is multiple guess, I mean multiple ‘choice’, it’s crunch time with flash cards. You’d be amazed at how many terms you can memorize in two hours under pressure. For those terms that just won’t click, think of weird ways to remember each word. Out of a 50-word definition your textbook gave you, choose a sentence to memorize that will help you make the connection when you see it in the answer choices. Multiple choice exams are the easiest to ace with a small amount of preparation. Just make sure your professor doesn’t take more than five minutes passing out scantrons, because you’ll probably forget by then. Sit in the very front of the class so you can start your test as soon as you get it.
Another thing that helps is knowing that you probably have 30 other classmates that are in the same boat as you. We all know hearing your classmates say they also haven’t studied calms your nerves down. Email your class and ask them if anyone would like to meet up for a study group. At this point, they’re probably just as driven as you to get the grade. Studying together will allow y’all to share notes and hear explanations of things you might have missed during lecture. Plus, this is a great way to make friends and connections to people that are majoring in the same thing as you.
Good luck Bobcats. Pain is temporary, but that grade on Catsweb is forever like Drake in 2009.
Featured image by Allison Johnson.