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Finals are tough. No one enjoys taking them. But they’re a necessary evil for every college student. Studying for the big test is important -- of course, you know that. As finals approach it’s important to maintain consistent study sessions. When you’re getting those study juices flowing, remember these tips to maximize your time and efforts.

1. Make a Schedule

You’re a working adult student. You’ve had to carve out time to go to class, write papers, create presentations, study for tests; making time specifically to study for a final is not anything new to you. Don’t overlook or take for granted the time needed to study for the biggest exam of the semester. What’s the best way to eat a whole elephant? One bite at a time. Think of your study sessions the same way. You’ll retain more information if you divide up the material into manageable chunks, and spread out the units over the number of days you have for studying.

2. Find a Quiet Place to Concentrate

No matter what your study and homework sessions looked like throughout the semester, you have to devote your time to studying without distractions before finals. Generally, it’s the biggest portion of your grade for the class. Do you really want to risk anything less than your best because your little one chucked macaroni at you, or the line at Starbucks wrapped around your study table?

3. Ask Questions

Your professors are here to help you learn, grow, and retain the information so you can apply it in your career. If you’re unsure about a topic, ask for clarification. Make sure you set yourself up to understand. Pro tip: if your professor provides you with study guides or a practice final, complete it! Mark it up. Write all over it. And take the practice test a couple of times.

4. Cater to Your Learning Style and Preferences

By the time finals roll around you should be familiar with what works for you during your study sessions. Stick to that game plan. It’s not the time to deviate and try something new. Do what you do, and then knock it out of the park!

5. Take a Break and Rest

This is a biggie. Don’t get so bogged down studying before finals week that you kill your energy and have nothing left in the tank. Have faith that you’ve prepared yourself throughout the course for this last moment. Study and do your thing, but then take time for yourself and relax. Finish the race strong! Finals week sounds daunting and demanding than it really is. It is rigorous, but you’re a working adult student. You’re a rockstar! When you’re walking out of your exam know that you’ve accomplished a lot in taking and completing the course. Savor the feeling and know you’re thriving in college.
Guess what? School is going to be stressful. Going to school and working and keeping up with your responsibilities is going to be tough. You’re going to be overwhelmed.

Embracing Time Management

But guess what else? There are hundreds of stress management techniques that will help you through the grind. Unmanaged stress is costly. Allowing the pressure to build and your anxiety to run rampant will affect your mental and physical health, and the quality of your production.

1. Mastering Time Management

Manage your time effectively by having a game plan in place to make the most of your 24-hour day. Knowing what you need to get done, how long it will take, and when you’re going to commit to completing it will keep your stress levels as low as they can be.

2. Discover Relaxation Techniques

Learn the best ways to relax yourself. Find what calms you and re-energizes you. Commit to regular, consistent self-maintenance to ease your stress and decompress.

3. Let Go of Minor Issues

Don’t sweat the little things. Focus on the things you can control and let the other things do what they will. Be resilient like a duck, letting the nuisances roll off your back.

4. Cultivate Positivity

Be positive! Give yourself affirmations about how awesome and inspirational you are. Never get down on yourself for making the choice to take the hard road.

5. Maintain Emotional Balance

Avoid extreme reactions. Maintain an even keel, work hard, and enjoy the ride. Don’t let stress cause you to spiral into turmoil. Stress doesn’t have to dictate your life or your college experience. Don’t allow the pressures to decrease your ability to complete your coursework as best you can. You can find a healthy balance while working and going to school. And you’ll do great!