Trau·ma  Junk· ie  ( 'trau-m&  'j&[ng]-kE) n. Slang
  1. One who has an insatiable interest, devotion or addiction to responding and assisting people with serious injury or shock to the body, as from violence or an accident.

5 Tips to Help You Study for Final Exams

For me, it seems like the semester just began a week ago. At the same time, it has been long (if that makes any sense), stressful, and rather tedious. Overall, the first semester of RT school has been a great experience. With final exams literally just around the corner, I thought I'd share some tips.

As you know, the final exam isn't your ordinary test over a single chapter. Not only do you have to remember the most recent information covered in class, but your knowledge and ability to remember everything covered since the first day of the semester will come into play. So, you may be wondering, what is the most effective method to study for a final? Well, I've been in college for about the past year doing pre-requisites for the Respiratory Therapy program, and I've taken about 15 finals in that time. Here are my thoughts:

TIME MANAGEMENT: For most of us, finals are about a month away. Pull out your wonderful calendar and schedule your study time. Chances are you probably have 1 or 2 more unit exams before finals, so it is imperative that you schedule your time wisely. Once you've done this, the hardest part will be to stick to your schedule. I'm sure you're burnt out like I am, but I just keep telling myself it is only a month until the winter break. As much as you may want to slow down, just remember that this is probably the most important part of the semester, because the grade you receive on your final exam can sometimes make or break your average grade for the class.

PRIORITIZE: Study time is limited, so plan accordingly. It took three months to learn the information, and you have under a month to study for the semester exam. Remember that you are already going to be familiar with most of what is covered on the final (I hope...), but be careful not to overestimate your knowledge. If it comes down to spending hours on your Fundamentals test to move your grade up to a C, or spending hours studying for Pharmacology to make an A, you make the choice. Allow more time for unfamiliar or difficult subjects, and study until you are sure you understand, but don't spend too much time on any one subject; It is important that your time spent studying is somewhat equally distributed.

LEARN WHAT YOU DIDN'T LEARN IN THE FIRST PLACE: The reason I'm posting this so far away from finals is because now is the time to do this. You can't simply start studying for your finals by reviewing stuff you've never learned and trying to commit it to memory-- you have to learn it! Start now and review concepts, formulas, and procedures that you didn't quite grasp earlier in the semester. Determine and list the reasons that you didn't learn it in the first place, and figure out a solution that will help you learn it this time: rewrite it in your own words, draw an illustration, make flash cards, or whatever it takes. If you truly take the time to understand, the information will stick with you long after final exams.

TAKE BREAKS: Exercise, do nothing, watch TV, read a book (that isn't a textbook), listen to some music, get some fresh air, or whatever suits you at regular intervals during studying. As stated earlier, you will be reviewing A LOT of information in a relatively short period of time, so don't overdo it. If you do, chances are you will simply mix up one theory with another, or the questions will all start to look alike. I know that some stress is normal, but let your body tell you when it is time to relax.

KEEP THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE: Let me reiterate-- you are already familiar with the information on a final exam, as you have already covered it in class. With this in mind, remember that you don't need to stress out to the point that you are unable to concentrate on your personal, work, or academic life (or any combination of these) or even to the point where you are losing sleep. If you're having serious problems with stress, I'd recommend seeking medical advice, starting with your school counselor, and next, your family doctor. I used to have problems with chronic stress, and I'm as serious as a heart attack about this (no pun intended).

Well, I hope this helps. Feel free to tack on your own personal anecdotes and tips for final exams, as well as your opinions on my post. If you have any questions, just post them in a comment. If I can't help you, I'll help you find a website or source that will. Good luck, everyone!


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