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No student likes to feel overwhelmed and anxious heading into finals week. With so much going on during the holiday season, the last thing you want is to be stressed about a test at school. Luckily there are some tried-and-true strategies that make studying for finals much easier, which will in turn boost your confidence and give you peace of mind.

  • Chew gum. Many people claim that chewing gum while studying helps keep them focused by giving them an outlet for pent up energy or anxiety.
  • Listen to music without lyrics. Listening to music while studying can help increase energy and focus, but music with lyrics can be distracting and prevent the retention of important information.
  • Don’t forget to eat. Low blood sugar and dehydration can lead to brain fog and make it more difficult to study.
  • Take exercise breaks. Not only can exercise improve mood and energy levels, but it floods the brain with important chemicals and nutrients that boost memory and cognition.
  • Write and rewrite. Writing notes down physically on paper (not on a computer) can help you remember important information.
  • Break up study sessions. Taking regular breaks during study sessions prevents mental burnout, which can lead to confusion and forgetfulness on the day of the test.
  • Reward yourself. Associating studying and learning with positive reinforcement can aid recall.
  • Create associations with the material. It is much harder to memorize isolated facts than it is to remember connected information. Whether you use a mnemonic device or another strategy, try to connect the information you are memorizing so there are multiple mental pathways to access it.
  • Explain the material to someone else. One sign that you fully understand something is when you are able to explain it to someone else. Find a friend or family member and ask if you can explain your study material to them.
  • Sleep. While pulling an all-nighter might seem like a valuable way to cram for a test, poor sleep can contribute to fatigue, confusion, memory loss and cognition issues. Make sure you are well rested before your test.