Early December isn't just about Christmas decorations and hot chocolate. It also rhymes (unfortunately) with end of session!
If you're planning on spending sleepless nights studying with your little thermos of ramen soup and your 15th coffee of the day, think again.
I have a few end of sessions under my belt and over the years, I have accumulated some organization tips that will boost your productivity for the exam period.
Too much is like not enough
If you haven't looked at your semester notes, starting two weeks before the exam won't make up for it. I'm not saying that to criticize. I have always prioritized work before my studies. So I know about remediation. Just know how to go about it.
You know the method of 80/20 ? Ah ha! So. It's that simple. 20% effort for 80% results. If you decide not to put more effort than that on your classes during the session, this method is perfect for achieving your goals without exhausting yourself.
At the risk of contradicting myself, not all the material to be reviewed is important either. If you're looking to get good grades but don't need 100%, you don't need to review all the material. The important thing is to understand the general concepts/learn them by heart. Usually these are found in the teacher's PowerPoint presentations.
So, if you understand the general concepts well, you don't need to do the readings or the exercises in the textbook (unless you are into mathematics;)). Usually, I consider this material as extra if I ever have difficulty on a particular concept.
It's a good lot of work avoided!
P.S. Often, professors put very important documents to revise at the end of the semester. It can be things like past exam samples or study guides. If your teacher is nice enough to put that on, take advantage of it. Let the 25-page readings be done.
Set achievable goals
No need to set unattainable goals during the end of the session. Try to keep a balance, but don't go crazy. It is normal for your life to be focused on your studies during these few weeks. So when you go to make your schedule (see below) try to be realistic in your expectations.
You will not go to the gym as often, you will probably work less and therefore make less money. Maybe you won't get the chance to cook home-cooked meals like you usually like to do, etc. But all that really doesn't matter. Adjust your goals accordingly.
Be realistic with your school goals too. If you didn't perform as well as expected during the session, that's okay and it's happening. It's useless to tear your hair out trying to raise your grade to end up with an A often, it does more harm than good.
Make yourself a schedule
You have to make a schedule and stick to it. So be sure to make it realistic. You will see, just by making your schedule, you will already have a feeling of control over your end of session and you will see much more clearly. It is really a good tool to relieve stress. Knowing that you are well prepared allows you to keep your attention on the important thing: studies.
So while it might take a while to sort it all out, promise you'll feel good once it's done.
Nothing is worse for memory than spending sleepless nights studying. Even if you haven't studied "enough", sleep. Sacrificing your sleep is sacrificing all the hours you just spent studying. It's terrible for your memory.
Get a good night's sleep and get up a little earlier to complete the study. If you haven't managed to review everything in time, no big deal! I guarantee you will absorb more information than you think.
Drink something other than coffee
And I'm not talking about energy drinks here.
It's not that caffeinated drinks are bad, you can definitely drink them. But be careful with the excess. As mentioned above, nothing replaces a good night's sleep and you have to be careful with this kind of drink. They can sometimes cause more anxiety than necessary, especially since you are probably already stressed with this end of session.
If you think you drink too much coffee, try to substitute with something else like water with fresh fruit inside, herbal teas, natural juices. This kind of drink is less “flat” than water, but will still give you the energy you need to get through your day, without the harmful effects that too much caffeine can have on your stomach. health.
Discuss it with those around you
Indeed, it is good to communicate with them before the end of the session. To avoid some frustrations with your family or friends, it can be a good idea to remind them that you will be quite busy during these few weeks and inform them of your new schedule.
But that doesn't mean that because you'll be busier that you won't be available at all! Being at the end of the session does not necessarily mean that you have to cut off all your contacts with the outside world.
It is sometimes beneficial to call our loved ones to ventilate a little. If you feel the need to talk during your exam period, don't hesitate to take a moment and call someone you love. It will do you the greatest good!
Mini exercise breaks
It's understandable that you don't have time to move as much as you normally do. By the way, taking small breaks to move and stretch a little is really good for the brain!
No need to go do 400 squats at the gym. Taking a short 20-minute walk around campus can do the world of good in between study sessions.
Good luck !
The end of semester is a difficult time for all students. Keep in mind that we are all in the same boat and that one day it will be over! I hope my guide can help you minimize your stress during the end of the session.