Finals season is upon us! Here are five study tips to help you make the most of your finals prep and ace all of your tests! 

Reorganize your notes.

Begin your study process by reorganizing your notes into the most important topics and subtopics. Reorganizing your notes is a great way to begin studying, because it prepares you in two ways: First, it’s a great way to review the notes you already have and retain information. Second, organizing your notes according to what’s most important makes it easier to review them later, as well as organizing information in your head so that you can keep track of it for the test. 

Draw it out.

For information that is hard to conceptualize with words or bullet points, try drawing out charts, diagrams, or even doodles to help wrap your mind around it. This may work especially well if you’re a visually-minded person: you can draw out ideas and concepts that will stick better in your brain than a jumble of words. 

Quiz yourself.

Reviewing information over and over can only go so far. Instead, try quizzing yourself on the information by creating questions and hiding the answers. This will train your brain to retain the information rather than just be overloaded by notes, and it will prepare you for the real questions on the final! 

Create rewards.

A great way to make studying more effective is to make it fun! In order to break up the monotony of review, create periodic rewards for yourself to reach after certain steps of studying. For example, you can put pieces of candy after each section of reading to do or notes to review, and eat a piece of candy once you get to the that point. Or you can allow yourself one episode of TV for every two hours of review. Breaking up studying this way will also give your brain a break and allow you to retain information better.  

Use music or wordplay. 

Using mnemonic devices and musical tricks can help you memorize long stretches of tedious information. For languages, use cognates and similar-sounding English words to help you remember translations. Putting history dates or parts of the cell to songs and melodies can trick your brain into memorizing them - just don’t accidentally start singing during the test!