Five ways to make the most of your dead days

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    While the end of spring semester makes many students eager for summer, it is important to stay organized and focused on upcoming finals, Shelda Dean, library marketing and publications staff member, said.

    To help students having difficulties during exams Academic Services developed a “Five Day Plan,” a strategy for preparation of each exam.

    “The most important part of preparation for any exam is to have a plan of how you’re going to prepare and stick to it,” John Shreve, academic coach for the Center of Academic Services said.

     Below is the Five Day Plan:

    5) Organize — The first step is putting things in order. Whether they are old tests or past notes, this will help students to decipher what they already know from what they don’t.

    4) Focus on the most difficult — It is important to concentrate on the most difficult information that you need to remember first.

     “Our brains can only tolerate so much information, so you have to focus on what you know is the most important information,” Shreve said.

    3) Review and study easier material — Reviewing should be done repeatedly. It is also in the best interest of the student to study with a classmate.

    “You retain a lot more when you can teach it to someone else, more than by just reading it out of your notes,” Shreve said.

    2) Study as hard as you can — Set aside a specific time to dive right into reviews, notes and past tests. Students should block off a set time and stick to it, using this time to study as hard as they can.

    1)   Write the review — Using your organization from before, students can now prioritize what they know and what they don’t. Meaningful repetition should be continued throughout.

    Although the plan is intended for five days prior to the exam, Shreve said it could be applied to however many days a student has before an exam.

    “It’s better late than never to start focusing,” Shreve said.

    A better finals performance can happen with more than just particular study habits, Shreve said.

    Healthy eating and sleeping habits are also important for successful results, Shreve said.

    We often get advice about taking care of our minds and bodies by eating right, getting enough sleep and exercising, but all too often it falls on deaf ears, Chantel Langlinais, English instructor said.

    “All-nighters might sound like a great idea at the time,” Langlinais said. “But it’s not about the quantity spent studying, it’s the quality.”

    Shreve also advises students to arrive early on the day of an exam, sit alone and take a ten-to-fifteen minute walk before class to help stimulate the mind.

    “That’s part of being an active learner. You’ve got to move around in order for your body to work,” Shreve said.

    Dean said the library would also provide a productive environment for students.

    There’s plenty of quiet places and areas for students to study as a group, Dean said.

    The library will also stay open for 24 hours through May 11, as requested by students, Dean said.

    The library will also be giving out free energy drinks to students Monday through Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m.