HAPPY NEW YEAR... HERE'S A FINAL EXAM
Pause your imminent freak out, because we got your back.
It's kind of obvious that most of our winter break was filled with binge-watching Netflix, getting all that homework done, and other memorable moments, but it's time to get our heads back in the game. One way to focus your attention while studying is to make a study sheet. This, my fellow peers, is a sheet full of concentrated, review-worthy information that makes studying easier to reflect on and simpler to understand.
So, you are probably wondering: How do I make one? I'm glad you asked. If you didn't ask, don't worry; I would have informed you regardless.
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE ULTIMATE STUDY SHEET
Step 1: Prepare (Finals are Coming)
My favorite template is the plain note sheet model because it is straightforward. However, I have also included various study sheet templates in this Finals Guide, so that you can make different sheets depending on the subject and what works best for you. Remember, there is no definitive strategy for studying, so it's best to not waste your time by strictly following other people's study techniques. You can modify your own study habits and strategies simply by finding what works best for you. You can even just take a sharpie and a blank page and create your own template. Here are a few examples of this:
1) PLAIN NOTE SHEET TEMPLATE
2) CORNELL NOTES (HOW TO MAKE IN A NOTEBOOK)
3) CORNELL NOTES STRUCTURED BLANK NOTE SHEET
4) CONCEPT MAP (GOOD FOR ESSAYS OR REVIEWING THEMES OF MAJOR UNIT)
5) BLANK SHEET (DIY TEMPLATE) EXAMPLE
Step 2: Assemble the Avengers-I Mean, Your Materials
Dig up everything you've cleaned out of your folder these past few months (who are we kidding, it's all still in there), and whip out those binders! Use the following to create a pile for each subject that will be used to label key information for your study sheet:
o Old Tests/Quizzes
o Practice Problems/Bell ringers
o Study Guides
o AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, ASK YOUR TEACHERS! They are probably going to give you some insight on what to expect on the test beforehand. You should write down and remember what they say, because (and I am going to go out on a limb here) they might have had something to do with making the test?
Step 3: Make a Key to Success
Break out your highlighters, markers, colored pencils, or any other colorful writing utensils, and think about how you will go about organizing your sheets. I am providing an example below of what you are striving to do. You may want to take a notecard, or just save some space on the sheet, so that you can create a key that labels what each color represents. You can make one key that applies to all the sheets, or get a bit more detailed and make many keys that pertain to a specific subject:
Step 4: I Dunno, Maybe Actually Make the Sheet
Set aside specific time once you have completed the first two steps for each subject, and determine how much time you will need to make the sheets. This can be determined by how much content is being tested, and this is even a smart thing to do for those classes where you have projects. You want to make sure you are getting everything done at least a few days before finals. You can do this by assigning a subject or two (depending on how much content there is) a day, or doing small chunks of units whenever you can. If you read the last post about studying for Midterms (which is still up and available for viewing), you will recall that you have two options:
20 minutes studying, 5 minutes break (for frustrating subjects)
40 minutes studying, 10 minutes break (for subjects you are more confident in)
Step 5: Sit Down and Plan Out Your Review, Then Actually Follow Through (Unlike Your New Year's Resolutions)
Make sure you spend some quality time with your calendar and planner. Schedule time to not only make study sheets, but to review them. Each day leading up to the test, take a short amount of time to look over your sheets. It doesn't have to be an hour. It can be a 20-minute review to make sure that you are keeping the information fresh in your memory. However, working out example problems for concepts you don't understand is just as important as reflecting on the unit. It would be wise to not solely depend on study sheets for every subject as a strategy.
And that's it!
Best of luck on studying from everyone on the Blog Squad, and good luck on finals!