Learning specialist advises students on finals prep

May 10, 2011 Community Print Print
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Preparing for a final exam or a final project requires planning with the end in mind, said Mary Turner, learning support specialist, in a campus workshop about preparing for finals on May 3.

“Work backward from the due date of an assignment or test to figure out how much time you really have to study for them during the week,” Turner said.

“You must assess what you need to do and get it done strategically,” Turner said when speaking to a small audience as part of the Brown Bag luncheon series.

Turner touched on a host of topics including; organization, stress, focus, and strategies.

Students tend to stress when finals come around. When you stress, you lose focus and when you lose focus, you do not perform your best, Turner said.

Students can relieve anxiety by simple exercise. Exercising can get rid of extra adrenaline before a test and make you calm, collected, and ready to ace the exam, Turner said.

Another point was that some students don’t prioritize their lives to make succeeding an option, Turner said. Set aside time for fun activities and study activities. It’s important to keep a positive balance between the two.

“The more organized you are as a student, the more likely you are to do better in school,” Turner said, “Keep a list of things you need to do in order of what’s most important. You will be surprised at how much of it actually gets done.”

Students should take time to relax and gather themselves to be able to get the most out of their education experience.

“Avoid the perfection trap,” Turner said. “Don’t think you have to get A’s or else you won’t get a good job. You are at school for the experience and that experience will help you begin your way to a successful career.”

Students who have been attending class, taking notes, being productive inside as well as outside of class, and studied, should be able to relax a bit during finals week, Turner said.

Students had questions after the presentation.

“How much time is enough ‘me’ time throughout the week when planning for tests?” student Amanda Crutcher asked.

An hour or more should be set aside for “me” time during studying blocks, Turner said. If you are one of the students who are not so prepared, don’t panic.

“Sometimes good enough is just that, good enough,” Turner said, “I don’t wish anyone an F, but is getting a B or C really that horrible?

“Four years from now that test you got a B or C on will be the furthest thing from your mind. You will be accepting your diploma.”

The fact of the matter is that you in fact did succeed.

One student said she appreciated the advice to take some time away from studying.

“She hit anxiety right on point with what I feel,” Ardy Burger said. “If I relaxed a little more, I think it would help me to concentrate and perform better on tests.”

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