Losing Your Finals Focus? Study This: | Bismarck State College

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Losing Your Finals Focus? Study This:

Posted: May 04 2020
Losing Your Finals Focus? Study This:
After all the testing, homework studying and more homework, it can be difficult to remain motivated coming down the stretch into finals week. And if studying for final exams wasn’t challenging enough, now you have a global pandemic added to your list of things to distract and stress about.
But take heart. This is no time to coast, rest on your laurels or raise the white flag. BSC is here to help you stay motivated and confident. There are some surprisingly simple and tangible steps you can take to be productive, get through the week and avoid feeling overwhelmed. (Best of all, they don’t require a lot of studying.)

1. Think about the future you

When you get caught up thinking about doing well on your finals, it’s easy to forget how hard you’ve worked to get to where you are today. No matter how stressful finals get, take the time to think about your goals, why you’re in school in the first place and reflect on everything you’ve achieved over the past year.
If you’re graduating, look ahead to a successful post-college you, whether it’s furthering your education or starting that career you’ve been working toward. Set your sights on the end game and the purpose behind all your hard work and sacrifice. It will give you the incentive you need to keep pushing toward the finish line and the next version of you. 

2. Create your ideal study space

Organizing the physical space where you study can helps you laser focus on the task at hand. Even if it’s just picking up things around you like loose papers, clothes and empty cups. Simply reducing or removing clutter goes a long way toward decluttering your mind.
Eliminate any distractions as much as possible. Texting friends every five minutes takes the focus off your textbooks, throwing you off course from your courses. Sure, it’s hard. But turn off notifications on your phone and computer so you can get done what you need to get done and save the texts for later.
Even the tiniest of distractions can destroy your concentration and make it harder to get back into your study groove. (Some studies say it takes half an hour after an interruption to get your full concentration back.) But if need a little boost to make it through a marathon study period, have a favorite snack on hand to use as a reward and give you the boost to keep powering on through.

3. One final at a time

When prepping for finals, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Avoid the tendency to multitask your brain into thinking about all your finals all at the same time, overtasking your mind. By trying to think about too many subjects at once, you’ll have trouble mastering each subject separately.
Focus on the test coming up first on your schedule and when you feel you know the material backwards and forwards, move on to the next test you’re prepping for. The key is to develop a good study pace that will leave you well-prepared, confident and (somewhat) relaxed.
Let’s face it: finals are challenging. Even if you study hard, you can run into questions you can’t answer. But if you don’t perform as well as you had hoped, don’t worry. As long as you studied hard and did your best, there’s no reason to look back. And try not to let the result of one final affect how you feel about the next one.

4. Set a schedule and stick with it

Sure, finals are challenging, but you can make them less stressful with a little planning ahead. Set up a schedule and follow it as best as you can. By adding structure to your studies, you’ll avoid the unsettling chaos of last-minute cramming.

By setting a schedule, you’ll be setting up a consistent routine. That means getting up and going to bed at the same time every day. Sure, this isn’t popular advice for college students, we get that. But varying your sleep times too much can cause problems. It can throw your body out of whack, making it harder to focus and concentrate on your tasks and studies.

If you’re staying up too late, loading up on caffeine and junk food all day and skipping meals, you’re not setting yourself up for success. Make a point to take care of your body to help you stay alert and maintain the energy you need to focus your mind and do well on your tests.

This is college and stuff happens, right? Just because you have a schedule doesn’t mean you can’t change it. Be sure to continuously monitor and evaluate until you find the routine that suits you best.

5. Make time for ‘me time’ 

Finals week can be a lot of pressure, especially while adapting to a life of quarantine and social distancing. If all you do is study, study, study, you run the risk of burning out and losing the focus you’ll need. To prevent burn out, balance your study time with some down time. Take an energizing break for an activity you enjoy. FaceTime a friend. Surf through your social media. Or watch a ‘cat knocking over things’ video. Stepping back for a bit will help clear your head, escape and recharge.
Give your mind—and your body a break with a little exercise. If you’re starting to feel like a caged animal trapped inside your room, get up and go for a walk. Getting outside will help you burn off your study-stress, relax your mind and make your next study session all the more productive.
Setting a schedule and sticking to it will help you get more done. You have the power to make finals week not feel like finals month. Who knew.