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Top 10 Study Tips for High School Finals (from a Dublin High School junior)

December 16, 2013
Dublin High student studying for an AP exam

Dublin High student studying for an AP exam

Finals. A single word that is guaranteed to scare away any teenager. Here’s a 10 step guide to help you survive the Dublin High School finals this semester.

1. Start Early

That’s right, you hear this every year. No more, “I’ll start tomorrow…” start studying as soon as you can! The Dublin High finals start on January 22, which gives us all of winter break to prepare. So mark your calendars and make a schedule for what you’ll study each day and stick to it. Time management is everything when it comes to finals.

2. Sort Out Your Priorities

Assuming all tests are all equally important is one of the biggest mistakes students make while studying for the finals. We’re all different and some of us are better or worse in certain subjects than others. Focus on your weakest classes, if your grades are barely hanging on at the edge in a certain class, that would also be sign that you should dedicate more time on that subject.

3. Take Breaks & Reward Yourself

Take regular breaks and reward yourself: go on a walk, play with your dog, or bake something. Don’t overwhelm your brain by cramming all the information in on one day, you’ll be able to learn much faster after taking a quick break to grab a snack. Or try something like rewarding yourself with a gummy bear every time you successfully memorize a vocab word.

4. Form Study Groups

If you can get together with friends who are just as focused and dedicated as you are then study groups are the perfect idea. Nothing’s worse than stressing over a single problem that you just can’t seem to solve. “Sometimes it can help to study with students from the same type of class ,” explains Mrs. Rubio, a counselor at DHS, “studying together for the final can enhance learning”.

5. Location, location, location

Where you study can dramatically affect your progress. If you live in a household with loud siblings or you just can’t seem to focus at your home, switch things up. Try going to a local library, book store, or coffee shop. I can’t promise it’ll make studying for the finals any more fun but a nice cup of coffee could help make it a bit more bearable.

6. Turn off all electronics

Facebook and Twitter can wait until after you’re done studying, so try turning your phone completely off this year. Background noise coming from the TV, phones, or your computer can easily distract you and you’ll be stuck studying for a longer period of time. Studies show that the better you think you are at multitasking, the worse you actually are, just keep that in mind.

7. Flashcards

There’s a reason why teachers want you to make flashcards for your sat vocab words, because it works. So try incorporating that into other subjects such as history, science, or even math, and bring those flashcards to school! There’s nothing wrong with flipping through them before the test or during passing periods to refresh your memory.

8. Talk To Your Teachers

“Teachers have different ideas and methods to access you,” says Ms. Hollison, an English teacher here at Dublin High School, “I’d say the best thing to do is be open and really talk to your teachers”. Don’t be scared of making a fool out of yourself, ask questions, there’s no such thing as stupid questions. If you need more help from a certain teacher then go see them before school, after school, or visit their office hours. Almost every, if not all teachers at Dublin High have some type of office hours including Ms. Hollison. You just have to talk to them.

9. Sleep & Eat

Don’t stay up until midnight the night before the finals and definitely don’t stay up all night studying! Getting enough sleep and being able to make an educated guess on the test is much better than falling asleep during one. Also, don’t settle for just a cup of coffee in the morning, remember to eat breakfast, and If you’d like, bring a healthy snack to school to keep you energized and focused!

10. Relax

Many of us struggle with test anxiety but you can’t focus on your test if you’re too stressed. Even if you’re a freshman you’ve taken finals before, you’ve survived them then and you’ll survive them again. It’s not the end of the world. Take Christie Koay’s advice, “Stressing out will actually do you harm so relax!”

Dublin High School Student Jin HyunAbout the author: Jin Hyun is currently a Junior at Dublin High School. Jin has been been in band since 6th grade, playing the trumpet, and has also been involved in the St. Raymond’s Church choir program for three years. According to Jin, “I’ve always been interested in any form of art (music, performing, painting). I also regularly volunteer for an organization called Kids Against Hunger which packs meals for people living in third world countries such as Haiti, Africa, and most recently the Philippines. Last year I created the Kids Against Hunger club here (as the President) at Dublin High and since then we grew from 8 members to 49 members and fed 2,376 kids. I’m hoping this experience will help me grow as a writer and become more involved in my community.” Jin has a passion for writing and is excited to contribute to and the community.

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