How To: Tips for studying for finals


Junior Nursing majors, Hanna Curtius (right) and Skye Lam Ho, study diligently in Sullivan Family Library.

With fall semester coming to a close and finals right around the corner, Chaminade students are either prepared or running frantic trying to prepare. So I’ve decided to share some of my personal study tips on how to be well prepared for this fall semester finals.

10. Figure out which subject you’re going to study
Studying one subject at a time really helps you focus. In order to maximize your study time, start with the most relevant subject first or the one you know the least about. Just to give you more time.

9. Find a quiet area
Nothing is more distracting than being mid-studying and being rudely interrupted by loud noise or talking. It is imperative that you find a quiet area, whether it is in your bedroom, on the kitchen table, in a park or in the Sullivan Family Library. Figure out a place that works for you and designate that your quiet area.

8. Free your area of distractions
Make sure when you’re studying, the only content in front of you is the study material necessary for that particular subject. Having your phone or iPad in front of you can decrease your concentration and distract you.

7. Gather all notes and supplies
Once you’ve found your study area, gather all the materials to study. Whether it be the textbook itself or your handwritten notes, make sure everything is there so you do not need to get up in the middle of studying and break your focus. A highlighter will be handy too, so you can easily identify the important information to put into your study guide.

6. Download Study Blue app
I’ve recently learned about this app. It’s helpful and eco friendly. Study Blue saves paper and easily transitions pages of notes into one study guide or countless flash cards. I’ve found it extremely helpful and faster than handwriting 15 flashcards. Since most students have their phones with them 24/7, Study Blue is a helpful guide while walking between classes.

5. Pick some Jams
Music always helps me concentrate. It creates background noise that drowns out any distraction or that surprisingly distracting silence. Whether it’s blasting loud or on very low, it helps me to get in my zone. Chose your favorite genre, whether it’s rap, rock, Hawaiian, or my personal favorite, country. What works best for you is what you should listen to. (For even more about picking the right music for your latest study session, check out fellow Silversword staff writer Winston Anderson’s story testing out different genres.)

4. Don’t starve yourself
If it’s a cup of coffee, or some fresh fruit, studies have shown that the way you study is also how you should take the test. So if you study caffeinated, take your test caffeinated. If you eat while you study, eat while you take your test. It also keeps the brain engaged. Food also helps when I need to look away for a minute.

3. Prioritize your subjects
Don’t try to study three courses in one sitting. Your brain will never retain all of the information. If you’re a procrastinator, my only advice to you is, “may the odds ever be in your favor.”

2. Take breaks
While studying, make sure you take a short break. If you’ve been sitting at a desk for longer than an hour, chances are you’re just reading words and not engaged any longer. Get up! Take a short walk. Turn up your music and do a little dance. It will help you be more alert.

1. Catch some zzzzs
It is imperative that the night before your test you get some sleep. Do not try to pull an all-nighter high on caffeine. Chances are that will not work. Sleep really does make a difference. It helps you to let your body and brain rest, as well as making you more prepared for the test ahead.

I realize that everyone is different and that this won’t work for everyone. If you’re one who hasn’t even looked over your materials, try a few of my ideas to see if it helps. Happy finals!