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The final countdown: students study for exams

Dec 4 • Features • 93

Thanksgiving break is over, heaving students into testing season. For most students, it is a time of major stress and immense pressure to do well on their exams. With semester grades on the line, how are students preparing for the quickly approaching finals week?
The first and most important thing to do is to get and stay organized. This can be done by making a schedule of study times, congregating all the resources made available throughout the semester and prioritizing.
Study schedules help students to appropriately portion their time. They allow students to recognize what needs to be done and how much time they have to do so.
“Planning and scheduling my time proactively helps me visualize what needs to be done when, while also keeping any surprise exams from sneaking up on me,” said Hannah Warner, a first-year nursing student.
By assembling the resources that are available, students can put everything they need to know in one place. This creates an easier environment for studying and simplifies the translation of the material into a complementing study guide.
Jill Merritt, Ph.D., an associate professor in the education department, said knowing the learning styles can help a student study.
“Many college classes are mostly lecture, and the expectation is that students will learn what they need to from lecture and independent study. Using their strengths a student can tailor their study sessions accordingly,” Merritt said.
Finally, prioritizing promotes the accomplishment of what is most important before that of something that is less important. This aspect of being organized will come as a result of creating an effective schedule and utilizing all of your resources.
Another effective study habit is to be cooperative. Teaming up with other students and working with them to tackle any difficult material promotes the integration of multiple viewpoints into learning, which, in turn, adds depth to understanding. Gannon’s staff are also incredible resources when it comes to studying. By working with them and being unafraid to ask questions, students can foster an environment where the learning is immense and is specific to what will be included on their exams.
The Erie community is another resource for Gannon’s students. Accommodations are made throughout the community to help students through finals.
“I love to study at the church down the street from the library!” said David Reith, a junior physician assistant major. “They are open all night and they have free food!”
Lastly, it is always important to maintain self-care. Taking breaks from studying to recharge and relax promotes better learning, while preventing frustration and burnout.
Taking a minute to destress pushes students to focus more and work harder for a longer amount of time afterward. To keep the brain running on all cylinders, it must receive an adequate amount of rest. This means that studying should not always take precedence over a healthy sleep schedule. Eating right and staying hydrated are also important for best test results.
When it comes down to it, final exams are a necessary evil. They are daunting, challenging and stressful, but in the end, they provide students an opportunity to showcase the knowledge they have accumulated over the semester.
Although they seem insurmountable, finals are just another obstacle for students to hurdle on their way to a higher education.

SCOTT ZANELLA
zanella003@gannon.edu

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