5 tips to ace your finals
Finals are coming up and that means there are some stressed out pre med’s out there. But don’t worry we got you covered with a simple guide to help you ace those finals!
The dreaded finals are often the source of alot of stress for many pre meds. This is because finals usually are comprehensive and worth roughly half of your class grade. So if you want to make an A you have to kill it on that final! Here are some tips that will guarantee that you boss your final:
1. Start studying several weeks in advance
There are several reasons for this. First, this is super critical to making good grades because our brain retains information best when it is presented several times over a period of time. This is known as spaced repetition. (You always hear me talking about this, because it is SO important. Seriously make sure you study this way) Also by studying several weeks in advance this gives you time to figure out what you need to work on! If you wait till the last week to start studying, you might realize that you don’t know half of the material taught in the beginning of the semester. You will be in a terrible position and be forced to cram (And remember cramming doesn’t work well). If you start studying weeks ahead, you can plan out your study schedule and make sure you aren’t overwhelmed. Do yourself a favor and study with plenty of time ahead of the final. It will save you alot of stress and could potentially save your grade.
2. Summary notes
Summary notes are one of the best things I have figured out since I started college. They are basically a collection of only notes that matter, cut out all of that fat. They “summarize” everything you need to know. These notes are condensed and straight to the point. These notes are great for many reasons, they help you to focus on the most important concepts and when you finish them make great review material! It is best to start these notes at the beginning of the semester and work on them throughout the semester so that when you are ready to study for finals you already have them!
3. Go over old tests and quizzes
These are some of your best resources for your final because they were written by the same person who is writing your final! Reviewing your old tests and quizzes tells you what subjects to focus on and how the test is formatted. This is super important information to consider when planning your finals study schedule. Perhaps he/she asked a ton of questions on photosynthesis but only one on plant anatomy. This tells you what your teacher thinks is more important, so you want to make sure you spend more time on that. Also old tests and quizzes tell you what your weaknesses were then, telling you what to focus on now. Plus they make great review material!
4. Fill in your knowledge gaps
Throughout the semester we are presented a lot of material and sometimes we are not able to perfectly understand every concept or do every type of problem. This is the material we were struggling with in the beginning of the semester that we never really got a grasp of. These knowledge gaps will be where we lose a majority of our points on the final. So its important now to go back and relearn whatever you didn’t fully understand before.
5. Practice, practice, practice
There is no better way to guarantee that you make a good grade on your final than by doing practice problems. This is your bread and butter when it comes to studying and preparing for any exam. Just understanding the concepts won’t mean that you can solve a hard physics problem or be able to do a complex organic chemistry reaction mechanism. The only way you will be able to actually do it on the exam is by practicing it a bunch of times. Making sure you can do the actual problems you will see on your exam is where you want to spend most of your time. Just keep doing practice problems until you got that type of problem down. If you are having trouble with a certain type of problem figure out how to do it. Then practice that type of problem until you can do it in your sleep. Repeat this with all of the material that will be on the final until you feel confident in every topic.
Finals can be hard but they can be overcome by breaking them down and methodically going over your weaknesses. Give yourself several weeks to prepare for your final, focus on your weaknesses, use old tests and quizzes, and do practice problems and tests until you feel confident.
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