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5 Ways to Study Smart for Finals

Finals. The dreaded word for all university students.

I know that midterms have just ended not too long ago, but honestly, who are we kidding? Everyone knows that it’s the weeks after recess week that really fly by. So, it is never too early to start preparing for finals. With that, here are 5 ways to study smart this finals!

#1 Read your lecture notes!

Many of my friends constantly ask me how I study for my exams. I always tell them to just read the lecture slides. Unlike secondary school or junior colleges where we are sitting for major national exams, in universities we are basically sitting for exams that our professors set. Which means that the content tested will most likely be in our lecture notes! Enough with the detailed notes for the readings, colour your lecture slides with notes instead!

#2 Start early!!

There is no other way to stress this point. Burning the midnight oil for the entire of reading week is just not going to cut it. Truth is, you will probably end up with stained teeth from the dozen cups of coffee (yikes!) and humongous dark eye bags (double yikes!). We most definitely want to avoid that, especially with summer break coming right up immediately after our finals (gotta look cute for the gram!) A good time to start studying would be in week 10, when extracurricular activities are starting to die down, and assignments are all done and dusted.

#3 Get some fresh air

And by that, I mean go out for a run, do some laps in the pool, get on an oBike and do some rounds around the NUS campus (jk).

But really, studying for more than three hours at once does not only add to our mental fatigue, but also affect how much you remember or understand the content for your finals. In fact, after a really productive day or two of studying, treat yourself to a good meal and see it as a way to congratulate yourself for a work well done.

#4 Turn your phone off!

One of the most productive studying tips that I have ever practiced is turning off my phone.

Technically, this tip does not involve you actually turning your phone off but setting it on silent or night mode. I found that turning your phone off actually makes you more tempted to turn it on when you’re bored, which hence defeats the purpose.

However, leaving it on silent and night mode creates the placebo that you are still connected to the world with your phone but only with it without being a form of distraction. Leaving it on night mode keeps the notifications from popping up, that's how you keep yourself from getting distracted while you study.

#5 Get a study partner

I cannot stress how important this is!

Your study partner should be someone you know will not distract you and have a similar studying pace as you. The two of you should be able to study and remain focussed for at least 2 hours without either of you breaking out into conversation.

More importantly, the two of you must be able to cheer each other on, stick to your studying schedules and not bail on your studying on days when you feel lazy.

Those are my 5 tips on how to study smart for finals. Keep in mind that these will not guarantee you an A+. To get those, you should definitely work hard and be consistent in your studies. Nevertheless, these tips are useful for you to keep up with the rigour and stress of the remaining few academic weeks.

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