Sandra's 5 Tips For Finals Victory


I wanted to share some quick tips that Sandra, one of our operations leads + current Ohio State student, sent me for finals. Hope they help you through the chaos!

Make a Plan

I basically live for checking off to-do lists. When dreaded finals season arrives, things can get overwhelming, so I like to create a schedule with specific tasks to check off. These help you know you're on pace. As soon as you can (ideally a week before a test) sit down and map out what material you'll study and how long you'll study it [check out the magic of prioritizing for more convincing]. Start early and you'll thank yourself later - get some planning in.

No Social Media

I am SO bad about this one. The classic "I'll just take 10 quick Instagram minutes" will quickly turn into 35... might as well round up to 40 on Snap... then you're suddenly in the Youtube black hole until morning. What?? Honestly, just lock it all up and throw away the key. Or if you don't have the discipline, get something like the SelfControl app to do it for you. Life saver.

Cheat Sheets to the Resque

Maybe your professor doesn't even allow one, but try making it anyways. I've found it's a quality way to review, forcing you to map out the key bits of knowledge for success.

Study Before You Hit the Hay

I've tested this out myself and I'm a believer. The key is to study literally right before you go to bed. Research has shown that this increases the amount of info you retain. As a side note, make sure to get enough sleep in general. Sleep seems like a time waster, but that's when your brain consolidates info, and sleep is key to performance the next day (test taking or more studying).

Review... While You Review

I tend to forget things pretty quickly. And lot's of you are like me, let's be real. I've found it very helpful to do review sessions within my study period to help cement the knowledge. For example, while reviewing for your math exam, after every 30 minutes or so, review the material you just looked at before continuing on. Extremely useful. [Ben comment: yes yes and yes. Even better, try to summarize the key things you learned on a piece of paper in simple language. If you can't reproduce it 30 minutes after learning it, good luck on your test.]

And most of all, don't freak out! It's not the end of the world if one goes bad. Just keep up the hard work and all will end up fine.

Sandra Aleksova
Operations Lead, Penji