Anne Cummings

Anne Cummings

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'Cat Counsel: My finals routine

When I hear the two words: “finals week”, I immediately go into a panic: my heart starts beating wildly, my palms start sweating and my head starts spinning. When did it become week 10?

After my initial alarming dismay to the mere words, I sit down and get myself organized. For me, organization is the key to educational success.

Everyone has their own method to sort through the chaos of notes and handouts. Some lay out their calendars, others organize their notes, for me, I write lists. And lists. And more lists. My friends and family have occasionally poked fun at me for my seemingly pointless list items, like “brush teeth.” Do I really need a reminder for such a basic task? Maybe not, but it doesn’t hurt.

For me it’s the simple check mark I can put down once that task is accomplished, which gives me motivation for the next task at hand. For many, lists may not be the answer into having a successful finals week, so I went ahead and checked out the best study spots, best places to get help and some stress relievers that will help you relax a little about the final tests.
Be prepared before tests. Utilize resources at OHIO that will help you further your study skills and will hopefully allow you to feel prepared for whichever test you are taking. If you want some personal help, check out the Academic Advancement Center (AAC), in 101 Alden.

The services provided at AAC help undergraduates become engaged in schoolwork and to help improve academic success. AAC can help you find a tutor; help provide study tips and other information regarding academic success.

“Daily and weekly preparation is the best strategy for success. Our services help because they teach the students to be effective learners and to have a better understanding of course material,” said Sharon Kousaleos, assistant director of academic skills instruction.

Some classes offer Supplemental Instruction (SI), taught by students known as SI Leaders. SI offers free, out of class, study courses for classes that are typically difficult. SI Leaders are students who have completed the course and are trained to help students get through the course too.

I attended a few SI sessions when I was a freshman because economics was killing me, and they helped a lot! Speak to your professor about SI and attend the sessions because they can really help.

“Statistically speaking, students who attend SI regularly improve by a half to a whole letter grade. SI teaches you how to become an independent thinker in a collaborative environment,” said Amanda Remnant, SI coordinator.

Studying can seem daunting, but preparation, organization and reviewing the material are key into having a successful finals week. Prepare each day. Organize your calendar; know exactly when your exams are and where. Once you’ve organized, review the material daily. Lay out a study plan and stick to it. Outline the material, take notes, highlight your book, do whatever you can to help you review the material.
Once you have prepared and organized the material now you need a place to review it. If you are in a residence hall, there are usually study rooms or the lobby downstairs that are quiet during finals week, so check those out if you are sick of being in your room.

Starting on Nov. 15, Alden is open until 2 a.m. and the second floor of Alden is open for 24 hours. If you would rather check out Baker University Center, it will have regular hours during finals week.

There are some off campus coffee houses you might want to check out too, such as, Perk’s, Brennan’s, Court Street Coffee and Donkey. Donkey, located at 17 1/2 W. Washington St. will be open 24 hours a day during finals week.

Whichever place you choose to study, make sure you are comfortable and can concentrate.

While studying is incredibly important, remember to relax a little too. Set aside time to take breaks, take deep breaths and keep with your usual routine. Remember to get enough sleep, eat enough food and exercise if you can. Maybe these tips will help you have a stress-free study experience at OHIO. Good luck with finals!