Finals week is a hectic time for everyone—it can be daunting to have so many big tests in one week. The silver lining is that all students— graduate and undergraduate— struggle to maintain focus on their exams together. If you don’t study early for finals, course material piles upon you, causing you to become so overwhelmed by the amount of studying that you don’t even want to try tackling the workload. Believe me, this is a feeling many of us go through.
A study hack for finals and beyond is to put yourself on a timer, meaning that you need to give an allotted amount of time each day to studying and for breaks in between. For example, I like to use the Pomodoro Focus Timer app to get my tasks done. This is a timer that allows time for both study (25 minutes) and breaks (5 minutes). I discovered this study hack this past school year while studying with a friend. After a week of using this strategy, I found that I was able to tackle more of my work and study for longer. Let’s face it: no matter how studious you are, our brains all get tired at some point.
When I take small breaks between my studies, I am able to study for longer without getting frustrated because I can refocus myself. Within this week, I felt more productive than I had in a long time. I like this timer because it keeps me committed to a set schedule. This same strategy works with your phone timer; you just have to remember that even when setting a longer time for studying you need to also increase your break time. This strategy has kept me productive. by placing myself on a schedule for short periods of time, I am motivated to race against the clock with the incentive of a rewarding break.
I mainly use this strategy for everyday homework assignments, but I also find this timer helpful to use while studying for tests. Although I may not always be able to move on to a new subject, this timer helps me to prioritize different sections. Motivating me to keep moving forward in my studies with the short intervals set by the timer. I recommend this study hack to anyone looking to budget, balance, and manage their time during finals week. We all have multiple exams to prepare for and what often seems like not enough time to get it done. Using this timer has made me realize that we often do have the time to accomplish our task, we just don’t always know how to manage our time effectively.