Cramming for finals

December 11, 2000

Cramming for finals


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.


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?


"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.

The Herald-Mail Articles