UMD students have hit that time of the year when the semester ends and finals season is in full swing. Many begin to say goodbye to their friends, but also to their classes. Preparation for finals requires a lot of studying in a short amount of time, causing some students to prepare differently than others.
Sophomore hearing and speech major Morgan Stolker suggests changing your environment to better engage with study materials.
“I leave my room and apartment and go somewhere quiet, like McKeldin,” she said. “It helps me focus rather than being crammed within my room.”
Whenever she studies, Stolker uses the Pomodoro Technique, where she studies in blocks and takes a five-minute break every 25 minutes.
When doing this technique, it helps you get organized with your work, and other tasks. This practice also helps with procrastination, and holds you accountable for your work.
The Pomodoro Technique also helps students' tasks become less-intimidating, as they are breaking them up bit by bit. This technique is shown to keep students hyper-focused, rather than increasing their stress levels even more.
“It helps me focus on what I am studying,” she said.
This study habit has been shown to also help with time management and productivity within the day.
Studying in groups may also be an effective use of time for some students. Sophomore psychology and neuroscience double major Alicia Hawkins believes that working together and rewriting notes can help with learning.
“Study groups are helpful because you have people who are not only dealing with the same thing, but also each person can help each other,” said Hawkins.
With many understanding that finals are approaching, a good strategy is to space out everything and make sure individuals are planning their activities and tasks appropriately.
“Organizing is key to making sure your assignments are done and to keep you less stressed out,” said Susan Collard, student assistant at McKeldin Library.
According to The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, planning how you want to learn is an excellent way to study and prepare for exams. Other ideas include creating study guides, practicing writing out responses to potential questions, and taking old practice exams in order to ace those finals.
If you are looking for a place to study, McKeldin is open 24 hours a day until December 19, the last day of finals. The Clarice Library, Edward St. James Building (ESJ), and Stamp Student Union are other familiar places to study.
Although many are stressed about their finals, always take some time for yourself and take breaks. To take your mind off studying, put on your favorite television show, go to the gym and get exercise in, or go on a walk.