How to Ace your Finals 2022
While we are all eager to finish up the school year, we can’t forget about the importance of our final exams. For most of us, our finals are a major chunk of our grade, and definitely something we can’t superficially study for. Over the past couple of years, I have been able to figure out a system to productively study for every exam I have had, which has really helped me to boost my grades at the end of the year. I finished school about 3 weeks ago, so today I am going to share with you my tips on how to study for your finals this year.
First off, you need to know what kind of learner you are. Are you a visual, auditory, verbal, or physical learner? This is a key factor to being able to study as efficiently and productively as possible! There are thousands of online quizzes you could take in order to determine what type of learner you are and how you retain information the most. Is it through videos, Podcasts, or written work? For example, I am definitely a visual and physical learner. I need to be able to see everything I am studying. Therefore, anything audio has to include a video of some kind.
For studying, I highly recommend utilizing flashcards. As a physical and visual learner, I need to have paper flashcards that I write on in order to soak in as much information as possible. Typically, after writing down all the definitions, I am able to remember so much more and find myself feeling more confident for my exam. For me, I use a different color pen for each subject. For example, blue was for my AP Bio class, purple was for my AP Spanish Class, and green was for my History of the Holocaust class. These were the 3 main subjects I used flashcards for. Though I don’t use Quizlet much anymore as I found it wasn’t as beneficial for the time spent (I don’t study well with flashcards on my computer), Quizlet can be an excellent source for those who work better with online flashcards, games, and audio strategies. Quizlet has been revamping its website for a little over a year now and has made it much more useful to all types of learners.
At this point, you all know my love for one-pagers. They are most certainly my favorite way to study (especially for biology). With classes that require a lot of memorization of vocabulary and concepts, one-pagers are my go-to. Not only are they super effective, but also really fun to complete. It’s almost relaxing (or as close to relaxing as studying can get). I am able to write down everything I know and every important concept on one sheet of paper, which I can then use as a study sheet. I also love to use one-pagers for the books I read in AP Lit to create a chart and/or a web to analyze each motif, theme, or symbol in the book. Especially if you do this throughout the year, this can make studying and remembering a book (that perhaps you read in September) a lot easier.
My white board is probably my favorite school supply I own as it’s versatile and easy to use. I mainly used my white board for my Pre-Calc class this year as it was eco-friendly and allowed me to be very clear in my work. I was able to use different colors to show the different steps of my work and could easily erase my work if I messed up or moved on to another section. My white board was also useful this year to write down any terms I didn’t recognize or know when studying. For example, when studying for Biology, if I didn’t remember how the Calvin Cycle worked, I would write “Calvin Cycle” down, and study it in depth later on. This list would grow as I studied and highlighted which modules I was struggling with most.
I take the majority (except math) of my notes online. For my AP Biology and History of the Holocaust classes, I combined all of my notes into one document to create a massive study guide. This made it incredibly easy to locate every definition I have when studying. For example, because I wrote down “Calvin Cycle” on my white board, I could go back to the module that specifically talked about the Calvin Cycle and study it in depth. Then, I don’t have to go through each separate document from this year to find information about the Calvin Cycle. Although it can be a pain to copy and paste every note document from the year, I found it to be incredibly beneficial in the end. The extra time and effort spent transferring and writing the information helped my brain to absorb and remember it.
Finally, research for study guides on the web. If you take a lot of AP courses as I do, there’s a good chance there are a lot of sites that have some sort of study guide created. This way, you can get a variety of different sources to study from. For example, if I was studying a concept in AP Lit, I can find different perspectives or ideas about it through different sources. I always feel that I comprehend the concept much better when I can read it through different perspectives. Additionally, if you have never used the resources College Board provides you, you are most certainly missing out. There are outstanding study resources for you, ranging from notes, study guides, and live (and on-demand) study sessions. Though they are typically constructed for the AP exam, they can double as a study resource for your final exam.
Although final exams can be extremely stressful, be sure you are always eating, drinking, and sleeping enough so that you have the most energy possible when taking the exam. Don’t procrastinate studying until the day before: be organized, scheduled, and prepared so that you can easily take your final and then officially be on summer vacation. GOOD LUCK!!!