Okay everyone, the time has come; it’s finals week. The end of the semester is bittersweet to most. We look forward to the long break, but final projects and exams stand in the way. We’ve gathered a series of resources Keene State College has to offer students for the week of finals, as well as tips to keep students afloat during this stressful time. Before moving your bed to the library, consider these ideas for a smoother ride through the week.
First, Lindsey Balkcom, an educational counselor for the Aspire Program, stated, “Preparation equals confidence.”
The Aspire Program is a federally funded program that provides a variety of services designed to help students achieve success in their studies. Any KSC student is encouraged to take advantage of the programs, which include individualized peer tutoring, study skill workshops, and academic and financial aid advising. The Aspire Program is located on the first floor of the Elliot Center. The counselor explained if students are not studying, they’re stressed. She continued that if students are prepared for the exams, they’re less likely to freeze up before the exam.
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Balkcom suggested studying in numerous 50-minute blocks of time. She said continuing to study for 50 minutes, taking a break, and then studying for another 50 minutes for one subject is the most beneficial way to prepare for finals.
According to a “Planning Study Time” handout provided by the Aspire Program, research shows that 60 minutes of study during the day is the equivalent of 90 minutes of study at night. The lesson here is that students would get more done if they studied during the day. Patricia Halloran, director of Academic and Career Advising, encouraged students to know what they’re getting into as finals week approaches.
Halloran said, “I’m a big fan of studying with others from the class–what you don’t know, someone else might. Time management skills are especially handy.”
Halloran added, “Knowing that finals are coming to an end and a break is ahead can be supportive as well.”
Tiffany Mathews, coordinator of Wellness Education, suggested students should create and follow a study schedule for the week. Mathews encouraged students to remember to schedule in meals and breaks. Mathews said many students eat poorly during finals week because their diet becomes a secondary focus. She advised students to gravitate towards complex carbohydrates like fresh fruit and multi-grains.
Mathews also said students should avoid or at least limit their caffeine intake. She stated, “Caffeine gives you a false sense of energy—and you will pay for it later.”
Mathews continued and said caffeine may also break down the immune system, and getting sick during finals is the last thing anyone needs. The coordinator cautioned students who still choose energy drinks to take note of the ingredients. She said to avoid taurine, which can be found in Red Bull and even some Vitamin Water flavors. Mathews also recommended students check out the Health Center’s “Nutrition at Keene State College: Sustaining Your Energy” Youtube video for more tips. Now here’s a tip we found that surprised us: researchers from Baylor College of Medicine discovered through an experiment, using over 100 students from a Texas charter school, that those who chewed gum while studying and taking an exam had a 3% increase in test scores.
“Chewing gum is an easy tool students can use for a potential academic edge,” Craig Johnston, Ph.D., lead researcher and instructor in nutrition at Baylor College of Medicine, said.
Next, one of the most common trends with studying for finals is pulling the all-nighter. Countless students do this on a regular basis, believing the misconception they are accomplishing their work. However, Mathews strongly discourages the idea.
“The biggest fault is to put everything off until finals week,” she said. “Do not pull an all-nighter. This will not benefit your health.”
KSC senior Ashley Tempone agreed with Mathews. Tempone said, “Students don’t benefit from staying up all night. They’re not going to remember anything the next day.”
Finally, students are recommended to reward themselves through the last hectic weeks of the semester. Balkcom said rewards can act as motivators. As Balkcom noted, students should schedule breaks into their study time. Use those 10 minutes to indulge in something that takes your mind away from your studies. We suggest listening to music, talking to friends, or, if you have the control, spending just 10 minutes on Facebook. Keep these ideas in mind, and hopefully this dreaded week will not be so bad after all. Good luck! Keep calm and carry on, Keene State.
Julie Conlon can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Borkowski can be contacted at email@example.com