Preparing for Finals

With finals quickly approaching, students start to stress over studying and what scores they have to get on their final to keep a specific grade. This begs the question, what are the best ways to study?

The way a student takes notes can change how they retain information. For some, using colors corresponding to the subject and using symbols based on what piece of information is being written down can help. Highlighting key points, boxing additional information and bolding key points are some examples of separating information to study later on. 

Senior A’Taya Benson has adjusted her studying methods to what helped her the most throughout her high school years.

“Don’t procrastinate. Try to get the review packet done as soon as possible so that whenever you’re reviewing in class you know what questions you need to ask,” Benson said. 

While there are many different things that can impact how students study, one of the main things they should take into consideration is time management. Cramming information all in one night can be less beneficial than slowly going over notes, homework, etc. over multiple days before a test. Setting aside as little as 20 minutes a day can help retain information for longer periods of time. 

“Waiting until the very last minute [isn’t a good study method] because I [initially] thought that if I had the information fresh in my mind, it would stay, but it just stressed me out,” Benson said.

There are many beneficial ways to study depending on how a student learns. For more visual learners, drawing pictures and using different colors can help. For others, it’s studying with a partner and bouncing questions and answers off of each other. Others try rewarding themselves after studying by watching a favorite show or hanging out with people. In the end, it all comes down to testing different strategies to find what helps the most. 

Sophomore Aditi Mishra has found that writing down notes is her best way of studying. 

“I like rewriting my notes because I think writing them down again helps me remember. Reading the textbook over again has not worked for me,” Mishra said. 

There are many apps and websites built to help students study, each being beneficial in a different way. Quizlet, Chegg, Knowt and Brainscape are flashcard study websites. For time management, Forest,, GoodNotes and Loop Habit Tracker are great tools. Mathway, PhotoMath and Wolfram Alpha are useful for math tests and homework as they walk you through each of the problems. In addition to those, Fiveable is an exam prep website for AP classes. 

Using a planner, a to-do list or even putting the tasks for the day into a phone can also help track how much time can be spent on studying, homework, extracurricular activities and social life. 

Senior Archer Nolen uses resources given to him by the school.

“I use the canvas to-do list because it keeps track of everything that I’ve done and I can get rid of things if I’ve done them,” Nolen said. 

A planner can also be used to establish a nice environment to study in.

“I feel that whenever you have a clean and quiet environment, it helps you study. Find a time that’s good enough for you to sit down,” Benson said.