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(Stock photo)

(Stock photo)

By Hannah O’Koon, Beacon Academy

I am currently a sophomore at Beacon Academy in Evanston, IL. We have exactly 1 day left of school, with Monday and Tuesday reserved for finals. This semester, I was lucky enough to end the school year with only three finals, instead of finals in all my subjects. So, I, like many others, have been studying for finals these past few weeks. Finals can be stressful, irritating, and at times can seem completely pointless. However, I try to look on the bright side, because after finals, my summer begins! These past few weeks, my friends and I have been studying and sharing tips and tricks with each other to help make finals a little less terrible. So, I’d like to share some of the study tips that I have found helpful.

Most importantly, it is important to start studying in advance! My school does not use textbooks, so its a little harder for me to access my old information from first and second semesters. However, I try and stay organized so that when finals come around at the end of the year, I am prepared. Its helpful to start studying a week in advance, because it takes the pressure off and makes everything a little less stressful. When I know that I am well prepared, I am much more confident in my work. I highly recommend sitting down for a little while and making a review guide to help yourself. Many of my teachers handed out review packets, and it is helpful to fill these out. This way, you can start to expect what you will see on the final exam. In addition to making and filling out review sheets, I usually make notecards that are organized and color-coded. I try to color code my notes based on topic of unit that I studied. This helps me stay organized, and it is also easier to keep the cards in order when they are color coded. I try to make as many notecards as possible, which allows me to really focus on small details that might not look necessary, but will end up on the final exam. I also like to write notes about each of the topics. When writing notes, I have found that it is helpful to color-code your notes by topic. Not only does this help me stay organized, I can easily recognize what I need to review and study more.

In terms of distractions, it is helpful to put your phone away or completely turn it off! When I am near my phone, I am always tempted to check it for texts and Snapchats. If its not around, I completely forget about it and can put all of my attention into my work. Additionally, it is helpful to work in a quiet space. I know this seems obvious, but I know so many people who study at the kitchen table or in front of the TV. Its important to be in a quiet space, so you can focus on your work and retain the information you’re learning.

To all those who are taking finals in the next week- good luck and look forward to summer!


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