Reduce finals stress with these tips

Melissa Hurtado and Melissa Hurtado

It’s that time of the semester again, when students scramble to finish research essays or chug caffeine to get through their late night study sessions.  Here are a few tips that could facilitate finals week.

Most professors and counselors agree that time management is one of the most important factors to ensure a passing grade on tests and helps students do better on essays.

Kathleen Earl, an adjunct librarian for the Los Rios District said her biggest piece of advice for students is “don’t wait until the last minute.” When writing a research essay it’s important to visit the library ahead of time in order for librarians to give students all the help they can in getting materials that may be located in other schools libraries.

Tips and tricks for finals:

  1. First gather all information about the final, like when and where it will be, if there is any study guide available and what is allowed to be brought in on that day, whether it is a page of notes or a book.
  2. Next, estimate how many hours will be needed to study and prepare for the exam.  Divide that time into the days you have remaining until the final to see how many minutes are needed to study each day. Write the schedule down in a planner, calendar or anywhere it will be seen.  Stay committed to the study schedule, and when the final rolls out the studying will already be completed.
  3. Sleep is very important before taking tests; make sure you are well rested and alert while taking the test. Manage time wisely to keep from having an all-nighter before the exam.
  4. The Learning Resource Center offers drop in one on one or group tutoring through Beacon. The tutoring center is available all throughout the semester but coordinator of the Beacon tutoring Araceli Badilla said she sees an increase of students who come in during the weeks leading up to finals. While this may benefit students, it is better to “start preparing as early as possible.”  She also says to avoid cramming and study in chunks.
  • Links to other resources are available online on the Beacon tutoring page of the school website.
  1. A study method that counselor Rick Ramirez recommended to one of his Human Career Development classes is the “SQ3R.” This stands for survey, question, read, recall and review.
  • With this method students scan the chapter or section in their textbook. They read the questions on the back of the chapter to get an idea of what the student must fully understand upon finishing the chapter.
  •  Then they read the full chapter and after that summarize what they have read.  Before a big test students go over the key information and quiz themselves to make sure they know the material.
  1. Flash cards can be a useful tool when studying alone and can work effectively for memorizing vocabulary, spelling, formulas or important dates.
  1. Location plays a big factor in how successful a study session is. The college campus can be one of the most effective places to study. There are several places that have computers, study rooms, lounges and one on one tutoring to help students succeed.
  • The library has three floors in which students can study. There are quiet environments where students have access to computers and Internet and can focus without outside distractions. The third floor has private desks that have an electrical outlet at each table to make it easier to charge your laptops.

Many teachers recommend that students form a study group both to lighten the load on a single person and retain more information. Rooms for groups to study in are available in the library. Students do not have to reserve most of the rooms, however it is first come and first serve and require a minimum amount of students productively working.

Remember to have all Scanton’s, blue books and pencils already purchased before the final. For those who have yet to buy them, the Student Senate will be giving away free final day kits that include Scranton’s and other test taking tools. They will be available in three locations, the library, Starbucks and the DSP&S center on Tuesday Dec. 10 from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM and Wednesday Dec. 11 from 4:30 PM to 5:50 PM.