Spring Forward Series: Productivity and Finals Week

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April 30, 2014 by Lainey

bears imageAnother year has come and gone right under our noses! Can you scarcely believe it? The whole cycle of academia has almost reached full circle…that’s right, almost. Although the end is so tantalizingly near, there’s just one more obstacle to (c)ram over: finals week. If you haven’t been studying for weeks by now, no worries. We have some tips to make your situation more “bear”-able.

Step 1: Check your Finals Week Exam Schedule.
You can’t study for what you don’t know is coming. This also helps you plan ahead, which is incredibly important to your academic success. Which leads us to the next very important step. Students always share scare stories of waking up and missing their exams – the results sound something like this: “I wish I had been more diligent freshmen year…my GPA would be so much higher now that I know how to study and prepare for exams.”

Step 2: Calculate how long you’ll need to study for/work on your next exam/project.

Using a handy tool called a productivity index, you can calculate exactly how much time you’ll need to spread over the course of the next few days before your exam. Take the amount of time you usually spend studying for a test, calculate how productive you usually are in a hour spent studying (or “studying”), and divide your test studying time by your productivity index. In short:

productivity index

Use your result and spread those hours over the course of the remaining time you have left to study for your exam.

Step 3: Factor in sleep time.
You need – no, not six, not seven, but – eight hours of sleep (at least) a night.
 It’s not too late to adjust your circadian rhythm, because you always want to time your mental peak to when your tests are. If you’re a morning owl and have a test in the evening, timing your sleep time at 3 AM and waking up at 12 PM might be more beneficial, given that you’re already adjusted to that sleeping schedule. Given that you’re a college student, maybe that answer has been yes for the past 3 years.

Step 4: Attend a Finals Week Prep Workshop!

· April 30: Surviving Finals 101 session, 5 p.m. in JES A309. RSVP here.

· May 5M 408K Final Exam Review, 5-7 p.m. in JGB 2.324. RSVP here.

· May 5M 408L Final Exam Review, 5-7 p.m. in PAI 3.02. RSVP here.

· May 6M 408K Final Exam Review, 5-7 p.m. in JGB 2.324. RSVP here.

· May 6:  M 408L Final Exam Review, 5-7 p.m. in PAI 3.02. RSVP here.

Step 5: Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

It’s okay to be scared that you’re not prepared – we’ve all been there. You’d rather have known that you used all options available to you than go into an exam knowing you could have tried harder. The Sanger Learning Center has provided the following exam preparatory services:

***

As always, thank you for tuning in to this week’s Spring Forward Series blog post. Check in next week for some tips on handling the stress of finals week!

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