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Getting to the Finish Line: The End of the Year Race

This weekend I ran in my first half-marathon since 2019. I've run a number of half-marathons before, and knew the route for this race in particular but it still felt like a challenge getting to the finish line. Running is a mental sport. Your body can but your mind will always tell you otherwise. It is so easy to want to quit and slow down but I had to remind myself 'I can do this.' 'I just have to keep going at my own pace and I will finish strong.'

It's the same mental game for many students this time of the year. The weather is nice. No more breaks. Just a few more short weeks until summer break begins. It can be easy to want to slow down and slack off in the moment, but keep going and finish strong to the end. This time of year can be stressful and overwhelming for students. Handling one exam can be challenging but when you have four or five subjects and all their exams fall around the same time it can be overwhelming! Here are a few tips to help you finish the school year strong:

Know Your Three S's

The three S's that are important to studying are Style, Setting and Supplies. Style – there are many different learning styles in the classroom and knowing your learning style is key to studying. When you have an understanding of how you process information you can plan a study strategy that best fits your strengths. Setting – focuses on location since people are able to focus and concentrate better in specific locations. Supplies – the tools you will need to make your study session impactful. This could be pencil, paper, pens, textbooks, devices, etc.

Plan Ahead, Do Not Procrastinate

Review notes and begin studying weeks before the exam. Spending an hour a day focusing on one concept at a time is more productive than cramming two chapters in a 5 hour window. TIP: The brain processes information better when it is broken down into chunks. Rotate a study schedule where you review notes – challenging courses first and the stronger subjects later. It is always a great practice to start by completing the most challenging tasks first.

Give Yourself A Practice Exam

Test your knowledge before the real test. Create practice tests and/or ask someone to quiz you on the specific subjects. Do not get discouraged if you make a mistake. Simply make notes and review the concept over again to help correct your errors. By practicing the exam you help to prepare your mind mentally for the task, just like how athletes train to condition their muscles for their sport. Practice exams are a great way to develop a mental strategy for taking the exam. Train your mind to win!

Ask For Help

This may seem like a no-brainer, but many students do not ask for help. Ask your teacher or professor for further clarification on a concept that is just not sticking. Or if you are working in a study group ask your peers, chances are someone in your group has the correct answer and you may have theirs as well too.

Studying for exams does not have to be frustrating and stressful. However, you decided to prepare for the test make sure it is an effective method that you are comfortable and happy with. Run this race at your pace and you will finish strong.

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