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16 Studying Hacks For Finals Week

Finals are THE WORST. But these tips and tricks will make them suck a little less.

1. Cut the music

Listening to music while studying hinders the brain from full concentration. If you absolutely need a constant soundtrack, listen to instrumental pieces like classical or jazz.

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2. Chew gum

Chewing gum while studying helps boost mental performance. Just make sure it’s sugar-free so you don’t get cavities!

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3. Turn on the lights

Bright lights increase learning and ward off depression (which we’re all prone to during finals). Study outside if you can and definitely avoid dim study spaces.

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4. Take a caffeine nap

If you find yourself requiring a midday boost, drink a caffeinated beverage right before you take a nap. It takes caffeine about 15 minutes to kick in, so your body will wake you up naturally (but set an alarm just in case). This way you won’t oversleep and you’ll be twice as alert when you wake up.

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5. But don’t over-caffeinate

Yes, caffeine keeps the brain alert and receptive to new information. But over-caffeinating increases your body’s stress response (which you certainly don’t need more of), so know thy limits.

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6. Take frequent, short breaks

You’ll work more efficiently if you have something to look forward to. Use the Pompodoro method: for every 25 minutes of studying, take a five minute break.

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7. Vary your study locations

Changing up where you study increases information retention. So don’t become a library-zombie. Hit up a coffee shop, a common area, a park, or a friend’s place to get your study on.

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8. Write things out by hand, if you can

Long form writing, while slower than typing, has been proven to boost learning. So rewrite notes, draw up flash cards, or scribble out solutions and you’ll be more likely to grasp the material.

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9. Keep your study space clean and organized

Keep your desk organized and your brain will follow suit. Eliminate unnecessary clutter, like knick-knacks or dirty dishes, and only have material you need on your desk to avoid crowding your work space.

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10. Eat right

Don’t fall into the junkfood trap that is finals week. Healthy eating keeps your mind sharp and your mood elevated, which is important when studying is crushing your soul.

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11. Exercise regularly

Strong body, strong mind. Exercising improves brain functioning and is a great excuse to take a much needed study break.
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12. Evoke your own emotions

If you can relate a strong emotion to your subject matter, you are more likely to remember it. So get mad at calculus! Fall in love with literature! The stronger the emotion, the more likely you are to remember it.

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13. Drink water during your test

Students who drink water during an exam are likely to score 5% better than students who do not, according to the BBC.

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14. Meditate

Meditation increases mindfulness and eliminates off-topic thoughts. It can also lower stress, which is helpful during finals or anytime.

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15. Get the right amount of sleep

Countless studies have proven that sleep deprivation ruins memory. All-nighters won’t help you if you can’t remember what you stayed up learning!

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16. Avoid technology at all costs

The hardest hack to handle. If you have no self-control, rely on online apps that block your social media for a specified amount of time.

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