Final Exams: A few tips to cross the finish line

The dreadful final exam season is upon us, but that also means that Christmas break is just around the corner!
It can be a stressful 2 week period of studying day in and day out so I decided to put together a few things to help keep us going. By us, I mean me and an imaginary person.
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1. Set study times accordingly

  • I usually like studying from 8pm-2am, I call it my “prime time”. For some reason, I cannot study in the morning for the life of me. However, my exams start at 8:30am so I’m setting my body clock so that I wake up early and get in the zone at that time.

2. Study with a friend

  • They can keep you on track with your studying. You feel guilty when they’re working and you’re there scrolling through Facebook.
  • They brighten up your breaks. Instead of curling into a ball and crying during your 10 minute break, you can chat with them (preferably about anything other than school).
  • Studying with people in the same class is a bonus. Cause you can *collaborate and listen*!
  • Warning: choose your study buddy wisely, make sure it’s someone with good study habits too otherwise they end up being a distraction

3. Choose a place that is conducive to studying

  • I’m rarely productive when I study at home. It turns out being 3 hours of work: 6 hours of procrastinating.
  • Look for cafes, libraries, etc. that you can study in. You might have to go to different ones. I’ve gone to some that were too loud, had sucky wifi, uncomfortable chairs etc. (yes, I’m quite picky) Find a place you feel productive and comfortable in because you’re going to be there for quite a while…

4. Consume coffee as needed

  • As I mentioned earlier, I have a hard time focusing in the morning (cause I’m still half asleep). So I’ve embraced coffee with open arms (and hazelnut coffee mate flavouring) to make me more productive in the morning

5. Apps to help you out

“There’s an app for everything” – me to my parents

  • Self-control app (https://selfcontrolapp.com/) – It’s a free app that you download to your laptop. You create a “blacklist” of websites you can’t access when the timer is switched on. So throw in Netflix, FB, youtube, etc in there. You set the timer (up to 24 hours) and no matter what you do, you won’t be able to access those websites till the timer is up. Yup, even if you restart your laptop.
  • Pomodoro app (phone) – Studies have shown that you are more productive when you study in short intervals. Apparently when you study for 1.5hrs straight you end up taking a longer break than usual. I can attest to this. I study for 1.5 hours then think I deserve a 2 hour break. Lol. This app rings when 25 mins (you can change it) is up, then cues your 5 min break. You do 4 rounds of 25 mins of studying with short 5 min breaks in between, then a long break of 20 mins after the 4 rounds.

6. Relax 

  • After sitting down for 8 hours straight, you need to stretch it out. I downloaded an app called SWORKIT which has easy stretching techniques. I did it once I woke up since my body was feeling quite sore (from sitting??). Thinking of doing it every morning to ease my way into the day.
My favorite study place: Olive and Ruby Cafe on Broadway and MacDonald

Good luck studying! See you on the flip side.

Pam x

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