10 Studying and Tech Hacks for Finals Week

We have finally reached the last week of classes, which means final exams are right around the corner. On top of exams, there may still be projects and homework due (how can they be so cruel?). To help ease your worries, here are 10 studying hacks and tech tips for surviving the upcoming workload!

  1. Make a “cheat sheet” for every exam (even if you aren’t allowed to bring it in)
    • Putting everything you know on a single piece of paper makes the class content a lot less intimidating
    • Rewriting your notes and organizing it in a way that makes sense to you will help you remember the content better–want proof this is true? Have you ever walked into an exam, cheat sheet in hand and didn’t look at the cheat sheet once? 
  2. Prepare for finals before finals week! 
    • Start now! Organize your papers from the semester, pinpoint those homeworks you did poorly on and redo them, prepare a barrage of healthy snacks to get you through long nights of studying, and make time to talk to your professors to get last minute help
  3. Enter into the world of podcasts
    • Meditation Oasis has a great podcast called “Mini Break for Work or Study” (scroll down to episode 36).
    • Try some Yoga! After a long day of studying, head up to Horsebarn Hill and gracefully stretch to your yoga podcast while gazing into the sunset! (You may think we are kidding but we are not. Trust us, it doesn’t get more relaxing than this!)
      Meditation Oasis
  4. Don’t forget to exercise! 
    • Exercising actually pumps more blood to your brain to deliver oxygen and nutrients. It can improve your memory and boost your mood.
    • Even for those who’s workout includes chewing and napping, taking a walk around campus or on the treadmill for 20-30 minutes is a great way to destress and stay motivated!
    • A great App to use would be “Zombies, Run!” (check out this fun health and wellness app here)
      Zombies Run Screens
  5. Do you get distracted online? Try using a browser app to whitelist pages!
    • Cold Turkey is one of many apps that can block distracting websites for a set amount of time. The basic version is available for free on Mac and Windows here
    • If you get stuck on your phone or tablet, there are apps that you can install that block apps. Or, you could put your device on silent, flip it over so the LED light is no longer visible, and put the device out of sight!
    • Remember, it isn’t social networking, its social not workingCold Turkey
  6. Try “spaced repetition” when studying
    • Spaced repetition is when you break information into smaller, manageable chunks and reviewing them over a long period of time
    • Not only will this help you avoid the stress that cramming causes, but it’s been proven to work!
    • Additionally, it helps reinforce what you’ve already reviewed. When you start your next study session, briefly review the prior material to ensure understanding
    • Using apps like Quizlet, studying in this manner can be quick and easy. You can use Quizlet to make decks of flashcards, and make each deck a “small, manageable chunk”!

  7. Cover material from different courses during your study session
    • Studying different material means we are strategizing how to solve different types of problems
    • Along with this, try studying in different locations. When you do this your brain makes new associations with the same material, thus creating stronger memories.
  8. Take frequent, short breaks 
    • Tide is an app that lets you get things done by breaking up individual event among discrete intervals, separated by short breaks (Available for Android and iOS)
    • It helps you stay focused in work and study! With one tap, you can easily start a focus and peaceful time accompanied by sounds of natural environment
    • Combines the most popular time management method Pomodoro Technique with nature sounds

      Tide App
  9. Get the right amount of sleep or make sure you wake up on time
    • As you sleep you go through different phases, ranging from deep sleep to light sleep. The phase you are in when your alarm goes off is critical for how tired you will feel when you wake up.
    • Since you move differently in bed during the different phases, apps can use built-in tech in your phone in your phone to determine which sleep phase you are in, and wake you when you are in your lightest sleep phase

    • If you don’t want to risk the chance of snoozing your alarm, or you want to make sure you get up in time, you can use an alarm app that only turns off if you take a picture of an object!
      • Alarmy is an app that has been cleverly designed to force you to get out of bed (available for Android and iOS).
  10. Listen to instrumental music
    • Relaxing instrumental soundtracks can help you concentrate on studying. These sounds can help block distracting outside noise, while also helping you stress just a bit less.
    • Additionally, listening to certain song may help you remember what you were working on when you originally heard that song.