Different study strategies help students succeed during Finals Week


Iowa State Daily

Andy Meyer, senior in mechanical engineering, left, and Jordan Vaughan, junior in mechanical engineering, work on calculus sequences at Parks Library on Dec. 6. Making time for friends and school are important habits to develop when transitioning to college.

Wendy Cardwell

As the end of the semester approaches, students at Iowa State are beginning to prepare for Dead Week and Finals Week.

Hours of preparation are involved in order to succeed during Finals Week, including making flashcards, filling out study guides and removing all distractions from the study area.

Multiple tips and tricks are available to help students pass Finals Week with ease. Some tricks are focusing on notes, studying in a quiet area, sleeping regularly, asking questions and staying for the entire class study session.

Focusing on notes is important because the notes cover most of the material that was mentioned during class. While reviewing notes, find a quiet place to study. Although it may be tempting to study with friends, it is best to find a quiet place in order to concentrate.

“I personally think that some freshmen may still be in high-school mode even though they’re in college,” said Kayla Trusk, senior in pre-biological and pre-medical illustration. “My best advice is to take advantage of your [Destination Iowa State] leader, who showed me the [Academic Success Center] and where academic counseling was located.”

Some freshmen are preparing for Finals Week by creating a study group or reviewing their notes.

“I am planning to study with some of my friends in the same class where we can quiz each other,” said Jordan Ogden, freshman in pre-business. “I do most of my studying in the computer lab downstairs.”

Older students have learned their lessons the hard way.

“One thing that has changed for me as a junior is that I use my time more wisely. As a freshman, I didn’t use my time as well,” said Sam Bedford, junior in integrated studio arts. “Some freshmen are still trying to figure out how to make good use of their time and figure out what works best for them.”

Supplemental instruction sessions can be helpful because it is equivalent to free tutoring, and it is beneficial to stay for the whole session in order to maximize information retention. For more information on these sessions visit http://www.dso.iastate.edu/asc/supplemental.

Learning by teaching is a strategy that can help students fully grasp concepts. When students work with a study buddy and explain concepts to one another, they’re relearning the material all over again.

Some students find getting through Finals Week easier if studying is a bit more fun. It is easier to focus if students adapt to studying by quizzing each other, creating acronyms or rewarding each other. Create a game that allows students to accomplish tasks and be rewarded.

“Every student studies differently. It depends on the student and how they want to study,” said Jason Wiegand, academic adviser for the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. 

For those who live in the residence halls, quiet hours are extended during Dead Week and Finals Week. The courtesy hours are 23/7, with a one hour study break from 9 to 10 p.m.