College students should begin studying for finals now in order to not fall behind and to ace those exams -Photo courtesy of

As the semester ends and summer draws near, there’s something we all must overcome before the long-awaited break: final exams.

Even though finals are still a month away, it’s a good idea to start studying now so you don’t get overwhelmed by all the material. Here are some tips on how to prepare.

Read your textbook, notes and syllabus

Your professor is likely going to base the material on what they taught in class. Why else would they teach something if you weren’t going to be tested on it at some point?

Keep in mind that not everything you were taught in class is going to be on the final, though. Your final tests the most important knowledge you learned in class. Some information isn’t as important as other information, so make sure you don’t over-study. Pick out key concepts or points emphasized in class and hone in on those.

Refer to your notes and syllabus to see what your professor prioritized the most and use your textbook to help reinforce things you didn’t quite catch in your notes.

Make flashcards

Once you figure out what material is most important, make flashcards. Don’t write too much on them because that makes it harder to retain the information.

If you make your flashcards now, you can carry them with you to review wherever you go. When finals time arrives, you will be able to recall the information more easily because you’ve been reviewing it so much and over an extended period of time, not just last minute.

Do practice problems

For all classes, especially math and science classes, doing practice problems can be useful. It helps you gain a better understanding of the concepts you need to know.

You can look online for practice problems, or you can redo problems from homework assignments and class. Try to find ones that give you the answer or provide an explanation so that if you get stuck, you can refer to the solutions.

Start a study group

This is probably one of the best ways to study for any test, especially your final. Getting together with a group of your classmates can help you figure out what you need to study more thoroughly and it can help you figure out what everyone else thinks is important to remember. Plus, it can turn the solitary nature of studying into a more enjoyable social activity where minds converge.

Talk to your professor

Talking to your professor about what material you should study is extremely helpful. They’re the one making the test, after all. If you ask them what topics the final is going to cover, you will have a better idea of what concepts you need to review.

Teach a friend

This is my personal favorite method of studying because it tests what knowledge you already have and helps you get more familiar with the material. You can even do this with friends that aren’t in the same class as you, which puts more pressure on you to recall the information yourself.

The best way to teach a friend your material is not through a formal study session but rather through normal conversation. This way, you are forced to recall the information without your notes, which is what you’ll be doing on your final.

Get out there and start studying now so when finals approach, which we all know tend to sneak up, you’ll be ready to ace those exams and head into the summer feeling proud.

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