As we near the last stretch of the school term, there is one more hurdle to clear before we reach the finish line: final assignments and exams. The week (or weeks) of final assignments and exams can be a stressful time. However, with the right preparation and some handy York University resources, you won’t have to pull an all-nighter and cram in your essays, projects and readings into one or two nights!
To help you with the last sprint, follow the #YUBlog guide to help you conquer final exams and assignments:
During the term, you have probably collected a small mountain of papers for each course, including class notes, handouts and assignments. These materials are a crucial study guide, so it’s important to organize them.
We suggest going through your course outline as you separate the materials by subject. This allows you to determine if you have missed anything important from class that might be listed on one of these papers.
Success Tip: If you realize you missed a lecture, be sure to ask a friend for their notes!
Create a Study Schedule
The key to ensuring that you are prepared for final assignments and exams is to manage your time wisely. Creating a schedule allows you to stay committed to scheduled individual or group study sessions, keep track of what you’ve studied (or haven’t studied yet) and how far along you are in one assignment or the other. It’s also a great way to keep your eye on the prize as you countdown to the date of your final exams!
Looking for some extra time management tips? Check out our previous post, “Time Management Tips for York U Students” or attend the Learning Skills Services’ Time Management workshop!
Give yourself extra time to study for your exams and write your papers! By starting as soon as you can, you’ll have more time to absorb the content and you’ll give yourself extra leeway if you fall behind in your schedule.
Plus, you may notice that a lot of your assignments or exams are scheduled or due in the same week — if you start early, you can have a lighter work load in your heavy weeks!
Each of your exams and final assignments will have a different format, whether it be multiple choice questions, essay responses or large, full-scale projects. You should tailor your study strategies and assignment outlines to the style of your exam or project.
For multiple choice exams, a good strategy is to concentrate on building your understanding of concepts in order to identify key information and facts.
On the other hand, completing practice questions to ensure you have structured answers and thorough knowledge of the material will best prepare you for essay-based exams.
Full-scale projects also require different handling. For instance, if it’s a large marketing project with eight group members, you’ll have to coordinate with others to complete the assignment. An easy way to make sure everyone is on the same page is to create a group schedule with clear deadlines. These deadlines will help you all stay on track as your workloads get heavier with other assignments or exams.
York U offers a variety of learning resources which will help you in the study process:
- Learning Skills Services (LSS) offers weekly workshops covering topics such as reading and note-taking, managing academic stress and critical thinking. Want to hear more about LSS’ amazing resources? Read the #YUBlog’s post, “Learning Commons, Part 1: Learning Skills Services.”
- The Writing Centre also provides services for writing support. Learn more about The Writing Centre in our #YUBlog post, “Learning Commons, Part 2: The Writing Centre.”
- Another great resource is the Study Hub, which is an online tool to find tutors, people to study with and others looking for help with specific subjects.
Find Your Study Spots
Did you know that by alternating your study spots, you can improve your ability to retain information? Sitting in the same spot at the library for hours on end can be draining. A change of scenery is a simple but effective way to refresh your mind and improve productivity! Look for locations with minimal distractions to help keep you on track.
Don’t know how to find these productivity havens? Use the Places to Study search page. You can filter options according to your preferences whether it’s a whisper-only location or a study room with white boards.
Success Tip: You can also use the #YUBlog’s post, “Learning Commons, Part 3: York U Libraries” for a quick description of all the libraries on campus.
Ask For Help
You’re not running this race alone! If you need help understanding a concept or have a question, reach out to your peers and instructors. In fact, studying in groups can be helpful to gain different perspectives and ensure you do not overlook any important material.
A great place to hold your study session is one of the York University Libraries. You can book a room for a maximum of three hours at Scott, Steacie, Bronfman, Frost or the Sound and Moving Image Library (SMIL). For more information about room bookings, take a look at the Library Room Booking System page.
Success Tip: Another fantastic resource available at York U is all of the peer academic support services! These peer services are often located at the various Colleges at York U — read our #YUBlog post, “York U Peer Academic Support Services,” for a full breakdown!
Take a Break
Don’t forget to give yourself some time to recharge between study sessions with short breaks. This is the perfect opportunity to eat a snack and go for a walk.
If you have some more time on your hands, attend an event on campus! To learn about the cool things happening this month, check out This Week @ York!
Get Some Rest
While you may want to get through all the material as quickly as possible, pulling an all-nighter is not the suggested route. After hours of studying, your brain needs to rest and let all the information you just reviewed sink in. Not only will you be more focused and productive when studying, getting enough sleep will help relieve stress. Catch up on your zzz’s and aim for 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
There’s no doubt that the end of any term is a stressful time! It’s natural to feel tense or nervous, but it’s important to not let these feelings overwhelm you and affect your studying abilities. You’ve worked hard to get to where you are now, and finishing exams and assignments is simply a new challenge to overcome.
Be confident in your abilities—you’ve got this! If you would like help handling feelings of stress and anxiety, you can schedule an appointment with Student Counselling & Development (SCD) and/or attend one of their free workshops!
Good luck on your final assignments and exams, Lions. I’m off to study!
What are your study strategies for final exams? Comment below or tweet us on Twitter at @YorkUStudents.
Note: This is an update of the original post titled “The Lion Pride Study Guide for Finals” by Shannon Hui.