Stress and finals go hand-in-hand

Updated: Feb 28, 2019

There are many methods to employ during finals week to reduce the unavoidable stress it brings.

By Meg Taylor, News Editor

With finals week just around the corner, students are cramming in their last late night study sessions and final projects, ultimately leading to overwhelming amounts of stress.

A surplus of coffee is not the healthiest or most effective way to get through finals week. Studying is a helpful tool when used properly. If you are thinking about cramming in last minute studying for your finals, don’t. Cramming may help you learn the definitions of terms in the moment, but the likelihood of remembering them the day of your final is slim.  

“Shallow processed information can be encoded by the brain based on the simple characteristics of the words, rather than the meaning. So the knowledge is only able to be stored in short-term memory stores, where it is only retained for a short period,” stated ABC’s Amy Reichelt. She continued on advising against typical study methods: “Re-reading through notes is often not enough to cement information into your memory.”

Before anything else, make a schedule. Outline the week in terms of study hours along with exam dates and times. Finals week has its own schedule and the time of a final may differ from the regular class meetings. Start studying for your first couple finals and set time aside on your schedule to study for your later finals. Doing this allows you to focus on the more pertinent information and reduces the chance of forgetting information that will appear on your last final.

Taking breaks is also crucial when studying. Staring at a textbook or computer screen for hours can become draining. Taking a quick break every hour can help you work better for a longer period of time. Breaks can include things like a quick walk, listening to music, or a nap. Short breaks will help you recharge and prevent burnout.

Lastly, make sure you get plenty of sleep during finals week. For decades, scientists have noted that sleep is not only crucial to brain function but consolidating memory as well.

According to Mental Health America, “Lack of sleep impairs your memory, mood, and ability to process information. These can create or worsen mental health problems. Conversely, evidence shows that sleep improves both test scores and academic performance.”