Dec 062011
 
Authors: Brandon Barrett

Undeclared freshmen Zachary Sterkowiz is going to be spending a lot of time with his flashcards this week.

“Definitely going to rock the flashcards this week and weekend,” he said. “And study sessions are two of the major things I’m going to do to prepare.”

Finals week is always a stressful time, but there are many ways for students to make it a little easier on themselves.

Christie Yeadon, the assistant coordinator of Learning Programs at TILT said that it’s not uncommon for students to come to TILT looking for help.

“We will have around 1,800 students who have come to tutoring this semester,” Yeadon said. “I would say a very rough estimate would be around 4,000 students participated in TILT programs this semester.”

For those looking to get ahead of the studying, TILT does offer drop in conferences for students about test taking and strategies to do better on their testing days.

“Simply going to TILT programs will not increase a student’s GPA,” Yeadon said. “The students still have to work hard and really engage in the material during the workshop, tutoring or study programs.”

Some of the tips taught at TILT are to study for 30 minutes to an hour at a time and to avoid many of the distractions posed by Facebook or texting during study times. On top of this Yeadon also recommends to study in a group so you can discuss material and to test yourself to make sure you know the material.

Psychology Professor Zachary Steiner said there are also ways to overcome anxiety caused by finals week.

“Feeling that you do not have enough time, having multiple finals, procrastination all increase the amount of anxiety you feel,” Steiner said. “If you feel anxious, you can trick your body into not being anxious by doing things like deep breathing which is good because when you breathe in deep it is hard to feel anything but relaxed.”

According to Steiner, studying before finals week can be helpful in alleviating stress as well. Studying habits like spacing out the time being spent studying and taking time to talk to your professor can all help improve your final grade.

“I had a student last fall. She took the first exam, got a C, and she was not pleased about it,” Steiner said. “She took the grade to heart, came to talk to me about what to do better and got A’s on the rest of the exams.”

The most effective methods for studying include studying class material in as interesting a way as possible or by making it personally relevant, Steiner said.

Steiner added that sleep is also nearly as important as studying for doing well on your finals.

“One of the worst things to do is stay up all night studying; it is more productive to get a good night’s sleep,” Steiner said. “Sleep is a very important mechanism for memory solidification!”

Almost worse than sleep deprivation for studying is cramming and long periods of study said Steiner.

“It is better than nothing. You’ll be anxious going into the finals, and it is rarely productive for studying,” Steiner said . “You can’t stare at a textbook for four hours straight either.”

Steiner added the best thing to do is, “Take time to relax and do whatever helps you calm down and have fun.”

Collegian writer Brandon Barrett can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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