How to Cram Last Minute for Your Finals

ktsdesign - Fotolia

If you’re anything like me, you probably waited until just now to start trying to save your grades. *NEWS FLASH* it’s a little too late. However, I do have good news. While I can’t give you the answers to all your finals, I CAN tell you how to improve your scores with a few tips and tricks that have been proven to boost studying efficiency. If we weren’t procrastinators, I’d tell you to plan your study day in advance, but let’s be honest….we’re all cramming last minute.

  1. Pre-Study

Before you even open up your textbook, make sure you’re in the most efficient study environment for you. This includes things like who you study with, where you study, music to study to, etc.

Even if you’re someone who likes being alone, studying is best done with a friend. Of course, there are rules to this. We all know that there are some friends you just can’t study with. Assuming you choose the right study buddy, not only will it be more fun, but you’ll also have someone there to keep you on track.

“Laugh now, so you don’t cry later.””

— Danni Gresko

The key to not getting bored of your surrounding while studying is to change your scenery. For you, that might mean anything from leaving your house, to just leaving your bedroom. According to UCLA psychologist Robert Bjork, simply leaving your usual environment to study increases your concentration and retention levels.

Another super important part of effective studying is snacks. It’s no secret that eating makes everything better, but it’s not just eating that helps, it’s WHAT you eat that makes a difference. Drink plenty of water and eat things like popcorn, fruits, berries etc. Staying hydrated helps maintain a high level of cognitive function and energy. Eating  plenty of fruits like blueberries and apples, will reduce the level of toxins in your bloodstream and improve memory function, says Joel Delgado, a Florida International University student.

Last but most definitely not least, listen to music. I don’t mean Lil Pump, A$AP Whoever, or your usual artists. I’m talking about listening to classical music. It’s sounds like a drag, but listening to classical music helps to engage the parts of the brain that help you pay attention. It’s also a huge mood booster. I personally suggest the Intense Studying playlist on Spotify.

  1. Studying

While studying, I recommend using lots of colors when highlighting your notes, using lots of notecards, and categorizing your material by section and chapter. Keeping your notes organized help keep your brain organized and your stress levels low.

Don’t overwhelm yourself, study only what you need to. Try finding ways to relate your material to relevant situations.

Studying out loud is also a huge help. Read out loud, singing, or even rapping your notes is not only amusing, but a great way to memorize your notes. Because music is such a help when studying, turning your studying material into a song is killing two birds with one stone.

Make sure to take lots of study breaks, I recommend the 50/10 method. 50/10 just means that for every 50 minutes of studying that you do, take a 10 minute break before studying again.

During those breaks, ENJOY YOURSELF. Relax, breathe, do some push ups, whatever it is you do to keep yourself sane. Danni Gresko, a student at Ryerson University, say that with so much stress looming over getting a solid grade on your finals, it’s important to take a laughing break. Try watching a funny sitcom or YouTube video. Laugh now, so you don’t cry later.

  1. Post-Study

When you’re finally finished and your brain can’t take anymore, the best post study activity is sleep. Give your brain time to recharge and process everything you’ve crammed into it last minute. Reward yourself with some Z’s after a long day of studying. You earned it!

Hopefully you found these tips and tricks useful, and you have all you need to ace your finals. Good luck, and Happy Hunting!