• Marion, Indiana

News for IWU’s Campus

Finals week is here, and along with that comes lots of stress for many students. However, there
are a few key things to remember when handling that stress.

Tanna Dawson, the Director of Accessibility in the Center for Student Success, said that study methods can have a lot to do with overall stress and finishing strong.

“We use something called the study cycle. It keeps you from spending lots of time studying things that you don’t need to,” Dawson said. “It has three points to keep it simple…It starts with studying, and then quizzing yourself and then studying again.”

Dawson said that although this seems self-explanatory, there is actually good method behind it.

“Because you quizzed yourself on what you studied, you throw out the stuff you know, and only study the stuff that you don’t know,” Dawson said. “People tend to keep going back to the stuff that they already know because they are confident in it and don’t want to forget it, but then they do not perform well on a test because they did not focus on the right things.”

This three step process is one way to learning all of the information that needs to be understood for
exam purposes.

“You keep repeating this process and eliminating things one by one and then eventually you are
left with all of the content memorized,” Dawson said.

Dawson explains that studying in different ways is also a key part of surviving finals, as repetition of the same method to an extent is not going to get students anywhere.

“You can read your textbook, go back and quiz yourself and then maybe listen to the textbook after that. It is the same content, but your brain processes it differently since the information is coming in a different form,” Dawson said.

Another key to success is balancing study time with an adequate amount of self-care. Former teacher Amy Jones emphasizes the importance of taking care of yourself.

“Making sure that you are being taken care of is equally as important as final exams are,” Jones said. “You will not be set up for academic success if you are not taking care of yourself both physically and emotionally.”

Jones said that a good reminder during this season is to take breaks and allow your mind time to rest.

“For every few hours that you spend studying, you should also reward yourself with a break,” Jones said. “You will not be productive or focus after a certain number of hours, and your mind deserves some time off.”

Jones offers a final piece of advice for students during this season.

“Remember that final exams do not determine your worth or your value in this world,” Jones said. “That validation comes from somewhere else, somewhere way more important than
an exam score.”

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