Mid-Term and Finals Exam Survival Guide
Ways of Learning
“Fleming states that visual learners have a preference for seeing material in order to learn it.” (x)
Visual learners are those that need something to physically see. You need physical notes, slides, and tangible things you can look at to be able to focus properly and take in all the information.
This is very much me. I need a physical book over an audio book. I need slides to retain information. I have to write down notes and then re-write them to get it through my head.
“With this different learning style, students have to hear information to truly absorb it.”
Auditory learners are everything I’m not. You work better with speakers, with oral notes, participating with groups and such. Basically, you don’t need the physical text like visual learners need.
“Kinesthetic learners tend to want to move while learning.”
Kinesthetic learners need to be moving in order to process the information. You work better with acting things out, maybe studying while working out, and conducting experiments.
Things You’ll Need
Now that you know the best way to study by figuring out your learning style, you’ll need to gather your study necessitites.
- Post-It Notes: Holy Crap, post it’s are amazing. You can write down thoughts when you’re reading, remind yourself to do things, use them as bookmarks… I was late to the post-it note game, but once I learned of their magical powers, I stuck with them. (pun intended)
- Highlighters: As an english major, needing to remember important information in the drag of a book I just read, highlighters made it easy to go back and look at what I considered important enough to know. (You can also post-it note areas with larger amounts of highlights!)
- Index Cards: If you have finals where you can actually use them, go for it. But only if you study better that way. Some people learn better with visuals, some through hearing.
- Mug/Cup: You’re not going to want to get up all of the time, so invest in a large cup or mug to put your drink of choice.
- Drink of Choice: I was never a coffee person, still aren’t. But coffee, tea, energy drinks and hot chocolate are staples of the cold, sleep deprived student. Make sure you’ve stocked up on whatever your vice happens to be. I do caution the caffeine overload. Energy drinks are tricky little bastards and too much can cause more problems than not being able to fall asleep.
- Snacks: Like a gaming marathon, you will need snacks. If your finals haven’t started yet, get together with some friends and host a finals snack making party. You can make cookies, brownies (the non-substance induced kinds) candies, chex mix, granola, or even full on meals that you can just pop in the microwave while reading Moby Dick or studying quantum physics. Make sure there is at least some balance of healthy to junk food.
- Studying Music: I wasn’t big on music while studying until my junior year. I had no reason for background noise, and thought it was more distracting than anything. Then I took a meditation/personal outlook kind of class and it changed my mind on music. I prefer classical music. I actually bought a CD on iTunes specifically for studying and doing better in school. The tracks have specific uses, where one song called “studying” is supposed to be the best kind of music to help you study. On the other hand, I know people who can’t study without the tv and some kind of general music playing. I wasn’t one to blast 80s rock while trying to read classic literature, but if that’s what works, use it.
- Comfy Clothes: I remember back in high school, finals week was one of the times where wearing sweatpants to school wasn’t awkward and looked down upon by the teachers. If you’re going to be sitting in a classroom, trying to concentrate on something that can be anywhere from 10%-90% of your semester grade, you damn well want to be comfortable. I’d proudly walk across campus in my sweats, hair up, bulky winter jacket, comfy shoes (some people even wore slippers if it wasn’t snowing/raining) to my finals for the day. I’d look like I just rolled out of bed, but so did a lot of other people.
- Gave a lovely atmosphere for listening to music without interruption of whatever was happening around me
- They doubled as earmuffs. Seriously, it was so great when I realized that the headphones covered my ears in the winter and only my face was numb by the time I got to class.