And, it’s time for final exams again…
…I really don’t want to think about finals. I’d rather pretend that this glorious thing called summer can come without the dreary rain cloud of exams.
But, finals are coming, and they’re coming rapidly.
You know, if we were knights, and finals were a dragon, and we heard that said fiery dragon was going to attack us within the upcoming month, we wouldn’t just sit there. No. We would prepare. We would sharpen our swords, and train, and prepare for battle. If we just sat there and ignored the problem of this dragon, well, we would eventually burn.
Dragon Killing Technique #1: Assess the Beast
Does the dragon fly? Breath fire? Regenerate when you cut off the head?
Figuring these things out would greatly help us knights slay the monster.
It’s the same for a final exam.
How will you need to show what you know on the final? What is the format of the exam? Essay or multiple choice? Is it comprehensive, or just like any other test? How hard do you perceive the test to be?
Once you know the answers to these questions, you can plan your method of attack.
Dragon Killing Technique #2: Choose your Weapon
In order to kill this ferocious dragon, us knights must make sure we choose the proper weapon to help us slay the beast. Do we want flaming arrows? A silver sword? Catapults? In order to pick the right mode of attack, we need to take into consideration what we learned about the dragon above.
This correlates to what study methods we should choose to use. Choose your study technique based upon how you know the exam will be.
Don’t know where to start? Never fear!
The Top 10 Dragon-Slaying Strategies:
- Note cards/ Quizlet
- Test yourself (make a practice test, or have someone ask you questions).
- Use practice problems (in your textbook or from previous assignments).
- Make a mnemonic (example: Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally for order of operations).
- Make an outline of material.
- Highlight important material (then review the highlights).
- Think of real life examples.
- Put things in groups to aid memory (make associations among your material).
- Mix up the order of what you study (don’t go from beginning to end every time).
- Change up your study location.
If it’s an essay test, making an outline and grouping material would probably be more helpful than note cards.
Or, if you’re going to be tested a lot on vocab, use note cards or Quizlet, instead of an outline.
Study smarter, not harder.
You get the idea :)
Dragon Killing Technique #3: Plan your Practice
If as knights, we decide to practice killing creatures whenever we felt like it, or even right before the big fight, we won’t be as prepared as we could be if we started practicing a little bit everyday. In fact, we would need to schedule our practice sessions into our everyday routine.
Same with studying.
Plan when you will study what. Know the dates of your exams, then schedule accordingly.
If you start studying in advance, you can just study a little bit at a time and slowly build up your dragon-slaying-muscles.
When you plan your study sessions, also think about what study methods you want to use, that way you can get the materials you’ll need in time to study.
Once you plan time to study, actually study.
And take a study break here and there. Rest is important, just don’t forget to start studying again (…like I sometimes do… Wait, what?)
Dragon Killing Technique #4: Prepare your Body
Once you’ve assessed the beast, chosen your weapons, and practiced, it’s important to prepare your body for the big fight. A knight needs to eat healthy foods, drink lots of water, and get plenty of rest before the dragon attacks.
Same with us students.
During the days leading up to finals, eat healthy. Resist the pressure to eat only junk food in order to relieve test stress. (Well, a cookie here and there would probably be okay, but don’t let it be the ONLY thing you eat.)
Get some rest.
Don’t- and I repeat do not– pull an all-nighter (especially right before an exam). This will hurt you more than help you. I promise.
You’re gonna do fantastic!
Dragon Killing Technique #5: Slay the Beast
The day has finally arrived for us to slay the dragon. We’ve assessed the beast, gathered our weapons, been practicing regularly, and prepared our bodies. The only thing left is to defeat the slithering serpent.
So let’s attack!
On test day, make sure you have the right writing utensil (pencil? pen?), and/or scratch paper if you need it, and/or a scantron. Take all your needed materials, along with a water bottle (and perhaps a stick of gum), and arrive on time for the final battle.
Then, the only thing left is to conquer the exam.
Stay calm. Breathe. Begin the test.
And remember, it’s just a test. Life goes on.
So do your very best, but don’t stress.
Any other study tips? What works best for you?
Comment below and let me know :)