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Finals month, yes that’s right it’s a month long or longer extravaganza in grad school, can be challenging to say the least. And as much as you think you have prepared yourself adequately for it, one can never be fully prepared for the event. Much like a zombie apocalypse, finals month can take you by surprise. I’m following up my grad school toolkit post with this post on surviving finals week, err…I mean month. Hopefully some of this advice will come in handy. Good luck!
“Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all.”
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This one is pretty self explanatory. Something that many of us rely on to get through the day. If it is well paced, it can lead to a decent amount of energy to power through your studying and propel you through that last paragraph. I have heard from a semi-reputable source, WebMD, that drinking more than two cups a day does nothing further for your mental alertness. So drink up, in moderation, you’ll need it.
I cannot stress this enough. Proper sleep is almost the most important thing to keep in mind during finals month. The less sleep you have, the more mistakes you will make, and the worse you will do on your exams. It’s just how things go. So get sleep, whenever and wherever you can, just don’t sleep through or during your exams.
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Don’t forsake the necessity to study. It’s so important; almost as important as sleep. One of the best study tools I can possibly recommend is taking the time to condense all the information that you have learned on to one single sheet of paper, and then memorize that paper. If you have written anything you don’t understand, you can go back and find that information and relearn it. If you are creative with this sheet, creating a crossword or the like, all the better. Synthesizing information is near the top of Bloom’s Taxonomy and will solidify the information in your mind.
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Relax; allow yourself at least some time to decompress. Care for yourself, because it’s unlikely that as an adult you have someone else doing that for you. Take a break; smell the roses; buy yourself roses. And do your best to be kind to those around you. Everything is going to be alright.
When finals month is over, let it be over. Don’t obsess over your grades, or what you did or didn’t do right. Just allow yourself to be done with the whole thing. You’ve made it! Celebrate or something. Sheesh.