Finals are quickly approaching! How are you preparing to get that desired grade and make the best out of this academic year? Will you be able to use what you’ve learned this year in your clinical practice, classes, and for your general knowledge? Here are a few tips to optimize these weeks before finals and prepare for retrieval of this information later!
If you are preparing for a cumulative exam, devise a plan to review the material in the next three weeks. This is only a review, but it is important to spend quality time on subjects that you aren’t familiar with, have forgotten, or struggled with initially. If a study guide has been provided, divide this material among the remaining weeks and commit to sticking to your study plan. Additionally, studying with classmates may be beneficial if you enjoy learning in group settings. After reviewing the material alone, joining a peer group of students could help to reinforce the course module information. Fellow students are available to share their insight and tips for understanding the content.
When preparing for new information, analyze the strategies that you’ve employed for previous exams. What worked for you? What was not helpful? Home in on strategies that have proven to work for you for your past exams with the same instructor. Instructors tend to have patterns and information that they think is important for your consumption. Have you realized any patterns with your instructors e.g., styles of content presentation, exams, and feedback for essays? Review previous feedback from your instructors and be sure to adjust your writing style or study strategies based on your past assignments with your professors. Peer study groups are also beneficial when studying new content and sharing study tips or explaining course information to establish clarification.
If you intend to continue your learning career, as most health and nursing students are, you may be revisiting information at various times in your academic career. Keeping folders on your computer drive, with detailed classifications, could help you with your certifications, jobs, and classes in the future. Although you may not always have access to your school Blackboard, creating a portfolio with completed assignments and Google folders are beneficial for self-study and retrieval of pertinent information later. Please consider saving your essays, study guides, essay prompts, and online health information resources.
Self – care
Finals are understandably stressful. Being intentional about including self-care activities and maintaining your daily routines can assist you in remaining grounded. It is during this time that acquiring knowledge is optimal. Self-care can help you manage stress, improve your energy level, and reduce the risks of illness (NIH, 2021). Having a clear mind could provide more clarity surrounding your classes and coursework. Make sure to rest, eat nutritious snacks, and hydrate your body.
Fortunately, UIC has a wealth of resources for student success. Be sure to take advantage of the opportunities necessary to solidify your academic foundation. Click here for resources that the Urban Health Program offers on this campus.
National Institute of Mental Health. (April 2021). Caring for Your Mental Health. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/caring-for-your-mental-health