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Studying for finals can be tough. Try using these 10 tips to survive finals week at GWU!

1. Study in groups

Finding the motivation to study alone can be rough. It feels like every time you sit down with your notes, you end up on Buzzfeed, taking a quiz to decide what kind of cereal describes your personality.  Studying with a group, or even just one other person, will force you to focus on the material. Plus, your group members can most likely help you with material that you have questions about.

2. Plan Ahead

Cramming for a final just doesn’t work. It’s too much information in too little time. Even if cramming does work for some students, retaining the information after you’ve already taken the test is highly unlikely. Planning out your studying can be a super effective way to ace exams. For example, if you have seven PowerPoints to study from for a class, you’re going to want to start studying one week in advance.

3. Find a study space

Sometimes, studying in your dorm room will cause too much distraction. Maybe your roommate brings friends over, or maybe you have loud neighbors. Whatever the situation, finding a quite space to study will help you study more efficiently. At GWU, you can reserve a room for you and your study group in Gelman library through their website.

4. Meet with your professors

If you’re struggling with any one of your classes, try going to your professor’s office hours. Not only will they help you with questions that you have, but they also will probably give you hints about what’s on the test. If you need help, your professor should be the first person you meet with.

5. Take short breaks

Studying for hours on end might start to make the words in your textbook go blurry. You will absorb information much more quickly and efficiently if you take short breaks. Maybe go for a walk, or go out to eat. Giving your mind time to rest is equally important as getting an A on that exam.

6. Exercise

If you’re feeling stressed about all of your exams, exercising will definitely help you combat your stress. Instead of sitting and crying in the library (been there, done that), try taking a run near the monuments, or lifting weights at GW’s gym. Those post-exercise endorphins will help you more than you know.

7. Rest up

If you’re feeling tired from all of that studying, make sure that you’re sleeping enough each and every night. If not, try taking naps during the day. Trying to focus on studying when you’ve barley slept the night before will only make things worse.

8. Listen to music

Some people prefer not to study in complete silence. Having some background noise, or making a playlist, can help you learn information faster. If you have trouble studying in complete silence, this is worth a try!

9. Arrive on time

Please make sure that you leave enough time to arrive at your exams on time. There’s nothing more stressful than running with a backpack filled with books for a long exam that you’ve worked so hard preparing for.

10. Stay positive!

Remember that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. Eventually, you will finish (and ace) all of your exams. Nothing feels more rewarding than going home after finals week.


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Becca Paul


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