5 Great Study Tips for Finals Week

The winter exams are upon us. As University of New York in Prague students prepare for their Final Exams of the Fall Semester, we wanted to give you a few tips to help with your studying. With much of the world preparing for a fortnight of fun and festivities, it might not seem the ideal time to pull out those text books and cram into the early hours. That's why we've prepared this short guide with five handy tips to help you study more effectively.

1. Go "tech cold turkey"

The digital age means that a lot of potentially distracting information and data is always just a click, tap or swipe away. In short, we are addicted to our mobile devices and to the Internet, whether we realize it or not. Distraction is the crammer's worst enemy! To improve the quality of your studies and to do more in less time, turn off all digital distractions – so that means no Facebook, no Twitter and no YouTube. Heck, if it isn't essential to your studies, then switch off the wifi entirely! And while you're at it, switch off your mobile phone and put on some relaxing music that you can study to. The world can wait – your exams cannot.

2. Never study word-for-word

It is very tempting to learn your subject word-for-word from a text book, especially if you have a photographic memory. However, not only will this method not help you understand a subject, it's actually a poor way to store information. You will discover that reading your subject and making notes in your own words is a much better way to study. You will remember your own words – and what they are attempting to explain – much better than those of any author, teacher or academic.

3. Bite-sized studying

The human brain tires much faster than you may suspect. Just like the rest of your body, it functions better after regular rest. Although it may be tempting to cram non-stop into the early hours for your college exams, this may not prove to be very effective. So, get used to studying in bite-sized chunks of 20 or 30 minutes, punctuated by short breaks of 5 or 10 minutes. Do something different during this break, such as making a cup of tea or coffee, playing with the dog or going for a stroll around the back garden. This will allow your brain time and space to register the new information and be ready for the next batch.

4. Get a white-board!

It doesn't need to be big, or even be a white-board at all – just something that you can write important study notes upon and remind yourself to revisit shortly before the exam. This simple visual aid will help you collate mark out your achievements as well as focus upon your subject weaknesses.

5. Color-code your notes

The human brain works in mysterious ways. What we do know, though, is that color is very important when making sense of lots of different pieces of information. Try writing revision headings, notes, equations, etc. different colors – this visual aid helps to distinguish separate information and makes it easier to recall later. Give it a try and see!

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