Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Ten study tips to prepare for finals

Thursday, December 9, 2021

The historically-dreaded finals week is coming up for Southeast Dec. 13 to 17. People prepare for finals differently, whether that be studying into the late hours of the night or getting a good night’s sleep the whole week.

Senior Sidney Siebert, a double major in biomedical sciences and French, works for tutorial services at SEMO. He has tutored students for three years and focuses mostly on organic chemistry.

In regards to finals, Siebert said, “We all do it every year; it is stressful, but we will get through it.” **

Dr. Shawn Guiling is a psychology professor at Southeast. Here, Guiling and Siebert shared their best tips for succeeding at your finals:

1. Study hard for a short period of time, then take an even shorter break. Guiling recommends 10 minutes on and five minutes off. During those five minutes, do whatever you would like.

2. Guiling suggests looking for mnemonic devices in your study material. This means making a shortcut or slogan you will remember. For example, to remember the Great Lakes use the word HOMES. This stands for Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior.

3. Minimize multitasking as much as possible while you are studying.

“Research pretty often suggests you are not as attentive to what you need to be by multitasking,” Guiling said.

4. Match the word or definition with the correct explanation. “This allows you to view the material side-by-side and process it,” Guiling said.

5. Try to answer everything as an essay question, Guiling said.

“The more you can pretend like it is an essay question and be able to write about it, the better you are going to be.”

6. Go to the library where other people are studying. Guiling said, “This can help keep you more on track with other people who are studying.”

7. Study with peers and quiz each other. Guiling said this can be a very effective way to retain material.

8. Do not stay put for long hours at a time while studying.

“Sitting down, cramming and never leaving is very counterproductive and feels like a chore,” Guiling said.

9. Live a healthy lifestyle. Siebert emphasized drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, exercising — even when you do not feel like it — and eating foods that fuel your body.

“This is hard for some people, but it is pretty evident when someone is lacking sleep,” Siebert said.

10. Do not cram the material.

“It helps to go through things step-wise,” Siebert said. “Definitely review your old exams and make sure you are taking care of your body.”

For the finals week schedule, visit Final Examination Schedule | SEMO. For information on the late-night finals breakfast, visit Late Night Breakfast with SAC.

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