With December just around the corner, it is time to start thinking about final exams. I know that we all dread another round of assessments (having just finished with midterms and assignments). But the sooner you start preparing for them, the better you will feel come exam time.
The reason why many students stress about final exams is because they feel that they could have done more to prepare. So why don’t they just spend more time preparing in advance? There are always a tonne of other things to do, and there is a long queue of excuses in front of studying. However, it is important to make studying your top priority.
One of the things that trips up many university students is the amount of time that they have outside of the classroom. In high school, they were accustomed to attending classes for eight hours every day (40 hours per week). But upon entering first year of university, they suddenly have much fewer lecture and lab hours (about 25 per week, on average). Most of this additional time outside of the classroom should be used for studying. In high school, you could have gotten away with doing homework for four hours each day. But in university, you should dedicate at least six hours to studying every day.
However, just putting in the time does not guarantee good results. In order for your investment to be effective, you need to have a plan. Otherwise, you will find yourself sitting down for three hours and not being as productive as you expected.
Having a plan also allows you to regularly assess your progress, and to gain satisfaction from meeting your daily study goals. It will also give you confidence come exam time, because fulfilling your plan will make you feel satisfied with your preparation. This will lower your stress and help you to perform better on your exams.