The Calm Before the Storm

We’re at that point in the semester where many of the tests and papers are behind us but finals wait just around the corner. Like sitting in the middle of a hurricane, it’s an eery calm that can be misleading. So, instead of just bracing for the oncoming wave of anxiety, cramming, and late night library visits, let’s use this time to fortify our defenses and lay out a plan to go out with a triumphant hoorah!

See The Big Picture

Take a 40,000 foot view of your class as a whole. Step back and look at how the class material has been organized. If you can get your head around how the class has progressed through the semester it can give you a new way to categorize the information you’ve learned. Most professors (or at least the best of them) have a reason that they’ve taught you the material in the manner they have. So, if you can understand why a course is laid out the way it was, you’ll have a better grasp on the underlying architecture of the class and a helpful insight into what the professor is hoping you will learn.

Organize Your Study Materials

First, organize important notes, handouts, and tests from earlier in
the semester. Over time, our important papers tend to get a little
scattered. Taking a few moments to make sure that you have everything you’ll need to study effectively can cut out hours of panicked searching later. It also gives you a chance to share resources with classmates in case you are missing anything or want to beef up your previous work.

Start Reviewing Now

Next, go ahead and start reviewing your materials. Most exams are
comprehensive, so that means you’ll need to brush up on the terms and concepts you learned way back in January. You don’t have to jump into full study mode yet, but becoming familiar with the major ideas that you’ve already studied will keep them fresh in your mind.