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Service Journalism: How to study for finals

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As the end of January approaches, students become frantic about how to save their grades for the first semester. Having copious amounts of extra credit work at the end of the semester is rare and finding missing or failed assignments is difficult, especially if the assignments date back to early October. Doing well on the final, which usually counts for 15 percent of the final grade, is really the only way to save your grade. Here are some tips on how to study for finals effectively.

Use different fonts:

In a study done by psychologists from Princeton and Indiana University, participants who had studied and read in a font that was uncommon and harder to read did better on a test than those who didn’t. If you like typing up your notes, try typing up your study guide in a different font besides Times New Roman. Reading in an unfamiliar font can help your brain remember the information on the page.

Rewrite your notes:

An experiment referred to by Professor Anne Mangen of the University of Stavanger in Norway found that those learning by writing did better in all tests than those who learned by typing. Find your notes and go over what you do not know. Rewrite the concepts and ideas that are unfamiliar and go over them continuously.

Mix your subjects:

Don’t try to study a subject all at once! Alternate from one subject to another to take a break from what you just reviewed. When you’re sick of going over the World Wars, switch to system of equations and come back to it later. According to University of California, Los Angeles psychologist Dr. Robert Bjork, students are able to get a better understanding of what they learned through finding the similarities and differences in what they studied when subjects are interwoven or mixed around.

Get some sleep:

Research done by Harvard Medical School has concluded that sleep deprivation makes it more difficult to take in information. It’s difficult to get enough sleep as a highschool student trying to balance school and extracurricular activities. Make sure to get enough sleep when studying for your exams as well as the night before your actual tests. Manage your time wisely and allocate enough time for you to be well rested.

Don’t cram!:

Study in intervals. According to the American Psychological Association, dividing study sessions over a period of time will improve long-term memory. Taking in a whole bunch of information the night before a big exam will not be as effective as studying the information throughout the week prior. Give yourself enough time to review your subjects so you don’t feel stressed and unprepared going into the test.

Keep in mind that every person has their own studying habits. What might work for you might not work for someone else and vice versa. Stick with what you know will be effective and what is more natural to you. Good luck!

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