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The Ultimate Survival Guide to Finals Season 15 TIPs that will lead to success

Finals weeks is quickly approaching. Notorious for being the most stressful part of one's high school career, it can be a lot to handle. Luckily for you, we have 15 tips that will not only help you survive finals but allow you to thrive in any test taking environment.

Get SLEEP.

It’s better to go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier rather than sleeping later and waking up later. It’s harder for your body to function at late hours, causing studying to be ineffective. It’s the number one tip: you’ll do better with a good night’s rest than pulling an all-nighter right before your exam.

Drink WATER.

Yes, drinking coffee stimulates your awareness and it keeps you awake, but it will also dehydrate you. Drinking water will keep you hydrated, fresh, and ready to focus.

Chew GUM.

When studying, chew the same flavor gum when you are studying the same subject. On the day of the test, chew that same flavor of gum to trigger your memory through taste. Your teacher doesn’t allow gum? Chew that same flavor of gum on the way to the exam, whether it be twenty or five minutes before taking the test.

SAME music.

Just like the gum, listening to the same song or the same artist while studying for that specific subject aids with the testing mindset you might be in. This tip is helpful if your teacher allows you to listen to music during your final. Your hearing senses will refer back to what you studied while you were listening to that song.

Take BREAKS.

Take a break once in a while! Studying for hours straight can be unhealthy and wear you out. Taking breaks is good for the mind. The recommended study amount is thirty minutes at a time, taking five minute breaks in between or studying for 45 minute intervals with 15 minutes off. Not sure what to do? Go outside and take a walk, grab a snack, or play with your pet. But be careful: rewarding yourself with too many breaks can lead to procrastination, so make sure you hold yourself accountable for following your study schedule.

TIRED?

It’s a sign from your body to take a break. If you find it hard to continue studying after a while, DON’T. Do something you love for a little bit; volunteer at your local animal shelter, take your dog for a walk, or listen to some music. You’ll come back happier, more motivated and ready to ace your finals.

STUDY BUDDIES.

Create a study group with your classmates -- NOT YOUR FRIENDS! Studying with friends can be distracting and unproductive, but if you create a study group with some focused classmates you’ll be on the road to success!

Turn off your PHONE.

Don’t leave your phone open, next to you, or even IN THE SAME ROOM. Your phone is known to have a “phantom calling” effect where you want to check it. You can download an app to turn off your phone so you can’t open it or just leave it in a different room. (This can apply to finals too: studies show that your brain get distracted with the phone in the same room; try leaving it in your locker or at home).

FLASHCARDS around your home.

Make flashcards and stick them with tape around your house so when you go to an area of your house, you HAVE TO study it. For example, stick your flashcards on a bathroom mirror to study while you brush your teeth. Or stick flashcards in your fridge or on the box to your favorite snack.

Start reviewing EARLY.

Routinely reviewing past topics in the weeks leading up to finals for as little as 10 minutes at a time can save you from spending hours cramming material from October the night before your test.

IMAGINARY classroom.

Remember when you had imaginary friends or played pretend with your friends? Study the material and try to explain it to an empty classroom of people. If you can teach and explain it, you know it.

Make a PLAYLIST.

Find or make a playlist that would help you study. Genre is very important. Try listening to classical, instrumental jazz, instrumental or atmospheric rock, world music, and ambient and electronic music. These genres use limited vocals or even different languages that blend into the rest of the music so you won’t be distracted by words.

CHANGE UP your study space.

Research says that studying in a different room or two different areas aids one’s memory. Whether you choose to study in a coffee shop, the library, or somewhere else in your home, make sure it is a productive space.

Read about Isabella Montoya’s article on how studying somewhere else helps her (when you have time) :

EXERCISE.

Whether exercise means running a marathon or taking a walk with your dog for fifteen minutes, it’s good for the mind to get up and move around. MOVE. YOU NEED IT.

Fuel your BRAIN.

Don’t forget to eat snacks when studying! It’s important to study on a full stomach because when you’re hungry it can be hard to focus. Some foods known to increase your brain power include oranges, blueberries, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, fatty fish, and green tea.

You got this! Take these study tips for this upcoming "Dead Week", "Finals Focus Week", or "Focus on Finals Week" and use them! Hope these few tips keep you on track! What are you doing? You should go back to studying!

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