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Cramming for finals

December 11, 2000

Cramming for finals



By JOE ARCH


As the holidays approach, the semester ends. Finals are on the horizon. Stress becomes intense.

As a college student, I know how hard it can be at this time of year.

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So I spoke with Marie E. Nowakowski, a licensed psychologist and student consultant at Hagerstown Community College; Linda Fernandez, director for curriculum and professional development for Washington County Board of Education; and Nanette Hatzes, director of the Learning Center at Penn State Mont Alto. They had helpful tips on how we can deal with this year-end pressure:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> First, clarify what your teacher wants. Is the final comprehensive - a composite of everything taught throughout the semester - or just the last test of a series?

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> What methods did the teacher use? Did he like to lecture and give notes from the board? Or did he teach from handouts?

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"Most students study subject matter that is unimportant and get confused," Nowakowski says.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Don't cram. This makes preparing for finals overwhelming. You will understand but won't remember. Link your studies to current events in your life. What does the material mean to you?

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Group studying is beneficial. Having a partner to quiz and question will help. You can ask each other a question in several different ways.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Don't expect to do well without studying. In the days leading up to a test, manage your time wisely, but don't overstudy.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Take a break after a period of time.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Try to get some exercise to help blood flow to the brain.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Eat right.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Get plenty of rest.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> "About five minutes before your test, think about the best thing that has ever happened to you," Hatzes says.

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