It’s that time of year again: a time of pulling all-nighters; living on energy drinks, coffee and junk food; and of reviewing everything from an entire semester in a few days of studying. Finals week is here.
We get it. Finals are hard, but they are important, and let your professors and you see how much you have or have not learned during the semester. Some exams are more difficult than others. Some require a little more studying than others, and some have bigger consequences or rewards than others. But don’t let finals week beat you! Here are some tips that will let you stay ahead of the game and come out of finals week unscathed:
Who has time for sleep when there are exams to be studied for and study groups to attend? This is an understandable question, but did you know that, in addition to playing a huge role in your physical health, getting the appropriate amount of sleep also helps your brain learn and remember information more effectively?
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, sleep deficiency can have the opposite effect. When you don’t get enough sleep, you can have “trouble making decisions, solving problems,” or “controlling your emotions and behavior.”
So, while it’s very tempting to pull that third all-nighter in a row to ensure a good score, catch some Z’s so that the information you’ve been studying will actually be retained. You can’t afford not to!
The dozen, fresh glazed donuts sitting on the study group table smell heavenly and are calling your name. There’s nothing wrong with a little sugar rush while studying, but don’t fall into the trap of only eating junk food during finals week.
Be sure to maintain a well-balanced diet. In fact, eat healthier than you regularly do. Some foods that support brain function include walnuts, blueberries, fish, avocado, broccoli and dark chocolate.
Exercise may be the last thing you’re thinking about during finals week, save for vigorously writing notes; however, just like getting the proper amount of sleep, exercising has great benefits to your cognition and memory function.
The Harvard University health blog explains that “the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory (the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex) have greater volume in people who exercise versus people who don’t.” Plus, it just feels good to get up, stretch out and walk around when you’ve been sitting in the same place studying for an extended period of time.
Take care of yourself and rock finals week! If you’re taking online exams, remember to schedule your ProctorU session here. Share with us on Twitter any other tips and tricks you have for finals week, and use the hashtag #FinalsWeek!