Revising for your finals in quarantine

The entire community of the University of New York in Prague has been homebound for weeks due to the Covid-19 quarantine. Our students, faculty and staff have put a lot of energy and resources into the transition to virtual learning, teaching and operations, and slowly but surely, we have reached the end of this unusual Spring semester. With finals around the corner and the continuing state of global uncertainty, it may be hard to stay focused on exam revision. You may be at home by yourself, with your roommate, or quarantined along with your partner or family—but in any case, study preparations for a university exam, whether Statistics or Theories of International Relations, will need extra careto allow you to focus entirely. These days, you may not be able to study at your favorite coffee shop or library. If studying at home is your only option, you might want to consider these useful tips for turning the space you have into the best study environment.

Tips for UNYP students preparing for finals in quarantine:

  • Of course, it is ideal if you have your own desk, but what if you are quarantining in your family home, and the only spot where you can work is the dining table? Make sure that your family members understand that you need extra space and quiet time for revising. Make a revision timetable and plan out your study sessions, rather than forcing yourself to study all day and night at the last minute. Create separate time slots for revising different subjects. Inform your family members about your schedule and explain that you’d appreciate not being disturbed unless you are taking a break. 
  • Declutter your space. A clean and well-organized room and work table can keep you from feeling distracted. During your study time, remove anything unrelated to your test prep. You could also optimize your computer by cleaning and organizing your desktop, and saving large files to an external drive. 
  • No need to rush! You might have gotten used to pulling all-nighters in pre-quarantine times, but there is no need to do so now, as social distancing means less recreation eating up your time. Begin preparing and revising early enough to ensure you have time to take breaks and give your brain some rest. 
  • Determine what creates the best study environment for you personally. Try to schedule your day around the study sessions, not the other way around. 
  • If you do not own a pair of noise-canceling headphones, and it is impossible to find a quiet space where you live (for example, if you are at home with younger siblings, or there is some construction work on your street), don’t give up.  Listening to music can ease the irritation from unpleasant noises and help you concentrate. There are numerous online playlists for reading and studying, from deep house and techno to classical piano and jazz. 
  • Let your friends know that you are going to be temporarily unavailable so that you can study. Turn off all your social media notifications for a while. It is crucial to cut the distractions. If this seems impossible, consider putting your phone on airplane mode and make a rule to check your notifications during breaks only. When it comes to studying, being strategic about how you spend your time can make all the difference. 
  • Are you going to have an exam on a subject you are really good at? Are there other subjects you are less sure about? You can get a good idea of what to prioritize by splitting your study materials into subjects and themes from difficult to easy. This will make it easier for you to understand how much time you should devote to preparations for each exam. Make sure to mix it up and revise some of each subject every day—but of course, allocate extra time for the topics and courses you are struggling with. 
  • Last but not least, do not forget to relax. Preparing for exams at home requires regular breaks to keep the mind energized and fresh. One great benefit of studying at home is that you can always take a 15-minute break to do yoga, or get off your chair to do some pushups and squats. You can even rehearse your answers for oral exams while you are making dinner or taking a shower. Use your quarantine time wisely, to avoid anxiety and stress later. You are almost there, so take a deep breath and go for it!


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