#1 Posted by Penzilneck (423 posts) -

Whaddup.

Finals are coming up, or maybe they have even begun in your schools, and I'm wondering how everyone else is coming along.

Are you worried at all, or have you been diligent all through the semester?

What kind of studying are you doing mostly? Conceptual stuff for timed essay exams, or mostly rote memorization for multiple choice exams?

How are you managing your time? Hardcore scheduling, or do you get the reading done whenever the mood strikes?

Are you getting any gaming done in the meantime?

Best of luck.

#2 Posted by SirOptimusPrime (2007 posts) -

I took my important ones already (Calc II, MATSE intro lecture, and mechanics), and they were all super easy. There was only one part on the MATSE test that really got me, but that was the professor being nice/wanting people to pass and putting extra questions on the exam as "extra credit." Something about copolymers, or maybe it was just... oh, I don't fucking remember. I've been less than diligent, no time tables, no real schedule... just getting by on my usual. Unfortunately when Electro and my first real MATSE classes/labs come in I'll have to actually study 'hard.'

The less important for my degree classes that I still like (Japanese Language/Culture Studies and intro to discrete math) are things I have to study. Been keeping up with the latter, barely scraping by in the former. Then there's everything else, which is just piss easy and I've already read 2/3 of the readings.

#3 Posted by Penzilneck (423 posts) -

@SirOptimusPrime: Is that basic Japanese Language you're taking? I'm majoring in philosophy and only have my graduating paper to do, but to raise my average I took Japanese Language this semester (along with Attic Greek) since I already have a background there, and have been getting top grades all semester long, but due to illness in the middle I fell one class under the minimum attendance and now I'm fighting against being barred from taking the final exam. A real shit situation.

What books are you using for Japanese?

#4 Posted by hoossy (934 posts) -

@SirOptimusPrime said:

I took my important ones already (Calc II, MATSE intro lecture, and mechanics), and they were all super easy.

Sounds like someone is fishing for a compliment.

------- as far as how to study

The first tip is... do NOT cram. It doesn't work usually, and even it it does, you're doing yourself a disservice because that material will fall out of your brain as quickly as it went it. Study as early as you can, so the whole experience is less stressful and more rewarding. I've never crammed for a test and then felt confident going into class, but when I've taken my time, I've always done very well.

As I said before, you may just be hammering through classes to get your degree, but since education is a pretty sacred thing (most people don't have the ability to go to college), I say that you should try to make the most of it. You never know when all this random knowledge might come into handy.

  • Read for 30 minutes, take a break
  • Get away from distractions, disconnect the internet if you have to.
  • Go study someone different, if you create a 'study environment' then you trick your brain into thinking its 'study time'
  • Review with friends/classmates, and try to teach them the material. If you know it well enough to teach it, then you really really know it.
  • As silly as it sounds, make up stories or songs or limericks to memorize tedious bits of information. That's how commercials get us to recall their products.
  • When you take a break, go do something active. It'll help flush out that restlessness that builds up.
  • Always take notes of what you have read. Actively study, don't passively study. Plus, those note will come in handy if you don't want to have to skim through the text again.

Finally, eat yummy food. Your working hard, reward yourself.

Good luck.

#5 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

You probably shield not be wasting your time in here if you're studying for finals. Use your time wisely.

#6 Posted by JacDG (2124 posts) -

Well, I have to finish 7 classes/courses during December and January, so I'm going to be busy as all hell. Basically, I'm going to get together with some guys and girls and just go through a bunch of stuff for most of the classes, I don't get anything out of reading books so I've just been showing up for lectures and the tutorials and learned the stuff that way, so going over the entire curriculum and discussing it with the dudes and dudettes will be nice for me, I'm remembering most of the stuff but you know, always good to brush up.

#7 Edited by SirOptimusPrime (2007 posts) -

@Penzilneck: Yo, that sucks. Had that happen in high school with an AP class. Biggest waste of time ever.

It's primarily a Culture Studies course. Next semester I start the real Japanese Language course, 'cuz right now it is super basic conversational/utility stuff - not even learning the mechanics of the language really. I can barely say 'hello' without looking in my book/on reference sites for the proper kana... the class is so basic that romaji is usually acceptable on work if the concept is not really transliteral to English.

We use The Japanese Language: An Introduction for reference, but only a few of us own the book (I have it, let's say).

@hoossy: Nah. If you put me in any other classes, I'm a total trainwreck. I'm surprised I can even form semi-coherent sentences sometimes. They were just bottom rung FRQ's - most people thought mechanics was too easy (one goddamn rotational problem, and I spent all of that time gouging my eyeballs out?). I did most of the questions in my Calc II book over last Xmas break because I was super excited about some of the crazier shit I thought I'd saw in the syllabus (was in the Calc III syllabus turns out), and most of that stuck.

Also:

  • As silly as it sounds, make up stories or songs or limericks to memorize tedious bits of information. That's how commercials get us to recall their products.

Yep. I always sing my math work. Always have since like pre-algebra, and it's stuck - makes the information process easily in my head, especially if the problem requires some doofy exception/rule.

#8 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3051 posts) -

Finals haven't started yet. We still have a week of class to go.

#9 Edited by Jrinswand (1709 posts) -

Well, as my presence on these forums may indicate, my finals could be going better. I have 18 more pages to write by the 6th, which wouldn't be so bad if I didn't also have a final project to finish, an exam to study for, and about 400 pages of student writing to grade not counting the final exams, which will be about another 80 pages or so. Like a dumbass, I have still been doing a bit of gaming (mostly DayZ) whenever I can find the time.

My only advice would be (and this only applies to people who are also teaching) to make sure that you have all previous major assignments graded before you go into finals week.

#10 Posted by Penzilneck (423 posts) -

@hoossy: Thanks man. Healthy advice. Personally, I do everything in my power not to end up cramming. Regretfully, I've ended up in such a situation this time, but it'll work out. I, too, value my chance at proper education immensely.

The advice you mention all makes sense, and it's the same code I try to follow. I especially enjoy teaching my co-students. I'm simply curious about people studying other fields, since different tactics can apply to different sorts of studies. For example, even though I've practiced speed reading and use it for any kinds of articles, news or lite fiction, it's useless and even dangerous when it comes to philosophy texts. Making up stories can fit perfectly, though, since many of the texts utilize imaginative ways to explain ideas.

Been trying to form songs or jingles to memorize Greek declensions, but it's far from easy.

#11 Posted by bushpusherr (783 posts) -

Make a "cheat sheet". Take a sheet of paper, and fill it front and back with all the information you think you'll need.

I'm not recommending you use this on the test, but just going through the process of making one will push you into reviewing all of the information you'll need.

#12 Posted by kerse (2113 posts) -

I'm not too worried, for math I recommend physically writing down the formulas a few times a day, it will help you remember them.

#13 Posted by Penzilneck (423 posts) -

@bushpusherr: Sound advice. I did something similar during for a course in positivist logic, but it's harder for more essay-oriented courses. For those I take notes during class, but try and make them a bit creative and lively, so they carry some of the mood and memory of the lecture with them. Somehow that helps.

@kerse: Luckily I'm not taking any math currently, since I don't trust your avatar for advice.

#14 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5827 posts) -

Most of my finals are two weeks away.

I only have to worry about 3 things right now: 2 essays, and a History of Econ Doctrine exam. The exam shouldn't be so hard, and I only need to answer 7/25 questions right to get a passing grade.

#15 Posted by believer258 (11903 posts) -

Yeah, I'm studyif, and it fucking sucks.

#16 Posted by believer258 (11903 posts) -

...and so does typing on an iPhone. I am, for the record, not cramming. But I can't wait for it to be over.

#17 Posted by kerse (2113 posts) -

@Penzilneck said:

@bushpusherr: Sound advice. I did something similar during for a course in positivist logic, but it's harder for more essay-oriented courses. For those I take notes during class, but try and make them a bit creative and lively, so they carry some of the mood and memory of the lecture with them. Somehow that helps.

@kerse: Luckily I'm not taking any math currently, since I don't trust your avatar for advice.

Cmon man you know them bitches love my advice.

#18 Posted by beermonkey (2 posts) -

Two weeks before exams, I start pretending the exams are the next day and do marathon cramming sessions. Just make sure you get sleep and take days off or you'll get burned out for the actual exams. I've found this is actually pretty effective and can make up for slacking off most of the semester. It can be pretty intense though.

#19 Posted by crusader8463 (14422 posts) -

Not in school, but a fun study tip I saw is to use candy as inspiration. If you have a ton of reading place a jelly bean or piece of chocolate at the bottom of each paragraph. Once you get to the end eat the candy. Or you can do it by page, chapter, or however you wish to divide it.

#20 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -

You have multiple choice exams?

Huh. Add that onto the pile of the millions of reasons I'll never really understand the American high school system.

#21 Edited by awesomeusername (4183 posts) -

I'm fucking scared and i haven't started anything! I have:

Math - Homework I still haven't done, a quiz Friday, a final the next week, and then a test that I need to take to get into higher level math. Because I suck ass in math.

Sociology - A 10 page term paper on prosthetics that I haven't even started, an short essay on that fucker Jim Jones, a make-up that involves me going to Ground Zero (World Trade Center) and interviewing people for an hour and another short essay on the interactions between human and animals.

English - A persuasive essay on anything, a research essay on feminism and then a final that I have to compare and contrast 2 things that we read in class.

Speech - I have to work with the group I'm in on a speech about how to do an online interview which needs to be 15 minutes. It's a stupid topic and we have to show some work by Tuesday, which is our next class.

I'm FUCKED.

#22 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

dont be posting on stupid internet forums when you should be studying

#23 Edited by Penzilneck (423 posts) -

@Clonedzero said:

dont be posting on stupid internet forums when you should be studying

Too late. I already be posting.

@Tylea002 said:

You have multiple choice exams?

Huh. Add that onto the pile of the millions of reasons I'll never really understand the American high school system.

I don't have any multiple choice exams. Neither am I American nor do I attend an American school for that matter, and am already far beyond the age of high school by now.

#24 Posted by Phyrlord (171 posts) -

I just graduated 2 years ago. I had a 4 year computers course/Corprate IT course. The focus was heavy CISCO (networking). We had CISCO 10 hours a week. typically one 3 hour class with another 3 hour class and a 4 hour lab. This was just one course. When exams came up we had 3 for one course. 3 hour prof exam, 3 hour CISCO exam, 3 hour prof lab exam.

My study habits usually consisted of waking up at 3 am, running out and grabbing timmys (Canadian). And studding for 4 hours before 8am exams.

#25 Posted by Philantrophy (354 posts) -

I am done with chemistry and a semester report, only drilling left then a month long vacation before next semester. I usually do old exams.

#26 Posted by GnomeonFire (741 posts) -

I have a film Auteur paper to write about George Lucas. And a paper to write about Anime and it's effects on children.

My tip. If you have to do lots of reading, try reading only the first couple of sentences in a paragraph, that's usually where the conceptual meat is, the rest is either examples or fluff.

#27 Posted by jeffrud (386 posts) -

The only study trick that has ever really worked for me is to listen to the first Broken Social Scene record while studying. It's something I did my first year of undergrad, and now I'm in my second year of grad school. It basically hermetically seals my brain off from the rest of the planet.

#28 Posted by Penzilneck (423 posts) -

@GnomeonFire: How does an Auteur paper go? And have you chosen material for that Anime paper?

#29 Posted by Ataribomb (101 posts) -

Just finished up a silly lit review for my graduate tutoring course, and now I'm starting on my 15 page Gothic lit paper. Shouldn't be all that though.

My tip is to just relax and take things as they come. Keeping calm and confident will always beat out cramming in my experience.

#30 Posted by murisan (1119 posts) -

No finals here, just wanted to throw in a trick from when I was studying back in Uni:

If you're getting tired and absolutely need to keep going, chug ~12oz of coffee, set several alarms for ~38 minutes, and fall asleep. Odds are you'll wake up just before the alarms go off, but if you don't, the alarms should wake you up, and the coffee will kickstart your noggin. The half hour nap always greatly improved my mental viability.

#31 Posted by GnomeonFire (741 posts) -

@Penzilneck: It's kind of weird honestly. I have to frame the argument myself. So I decided to write about how George Lucas is the creative force behind the Star Wars series. And how he kind of takes it one step too far with forcing his revised version on the films and fans. And how he can do that because he is (well, was now) essentially the sole proprietor of Lucas films. And I also mention stuff about fan reactions and whose interpretation is more important to the film. I end up siding with Lucas's interpretation in the paper because I figured siding with the fans would be cliche.

And for the anime paper. I'm writing about how anime is a negative force on children (I actually don't think it is, but it should piss off some of the classmates). There's things in that paper like: gender roles in japan, violence on the playground through reenactment, sexism in manga and hentai, and cultural misconception about japan from the american perspective.

#32 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4676 posts) -

@GnomeonFire said:

@Penzilneck: It's kind of weird honestly. I have to frame the argument myself. So I decided to write about how George Lucas is the creative force behind the Star Wars series. And how he kind of takes it one step too far with forcing his revised version on the films and fans. And how he can do that because he is (well, was now) essentially the sole proprietor of Lucas films. And I also mention stuff about fan reactions and whose interpretation is more important to the film. I end up siding with Lucas's interpretation in the paper because I figured siding with the fans would be cliche.

And for the anime paper. I'm writing about how anime is a negative force on children (I actually don't think it is, but it should piss off some of the classmates). There's things in that paper like: gender roles in japan, violence on the playground through reenactment, sexism in manga and hentai, and cultural misconception about japan from the american perspective.

Why do you write things you do not believe in? Does it not feel dishonest?

#33 Posted by GnomeonFire (741 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan: To give myself an other perspective. If I just wrote about what I already think, I don't think I would learn as much. And I do mention briefly in the paper that I write it as a devil's advocate to my own opinion. I only fear that my teachers might think I'm a schizo.

#34 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4676 posts) -

@GnomeonFire said:

@ImmortalSaiyan: To give myself an other perspective. If I just wrote about what I already think, I don't think I would learn as much. And I do mention briefly in the paper that I write it as a devil's advocate to my own opinion. I only fear that my teachers might think I'm a schizo.

That is interesting. I never would do think of doing that myself. So you are trying to understand other's perspective by writing it. I find that admirable. I'm just wondering if a school paper is the place to be doing it. You shall see once you get it back I suppose.

#35 Posted by GnomeonFire (741 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan: I would never do it for a dissertation or anything. Then I would really be asking for trouble.

#36 Posted by TooWalrus (13197 posts) -

Studying for college exams this week has been going like this.

I'll study... right after I save Naoto.

Right after I finish Nanako.

Right after... I don't mind if I get a C.

#37 Edited by Itwastuesday (963 posts) -

i have like a shit load of work to do for class but i'm playing video games i'ma pass anyway #based

#38 Posted by vikingdeath1 (968 posts) -

Still have my STATS, Microeconomics, and Business Law finals to get through this/ next week....

and today is day one of my tolerance break/ Study regimen! hittin the books.

#39 Edited by believer258 (11903 posts) -

@Tylea002 said:

You have multiple choice exams?

Huh. Add that onto the pile of the millions of reasons I'll never really understand the American high school system.

I am not complaining. Multiple choice sections have saved me from many exams over the entirety of my education, though I do understand how they aren't ideal for actually testing you.

EDIT: Oh, right. My finals. Well, I had the first two today, in a row. One of them was, in fact, all multiple choice and not even cumulative and I could skip ten of the questions, so that was pretty fucking easy. The other... well, it was a cumulative exam on Victorian English with no multiple choice questions and essays. That one was fun, but I feel really, really good about it.

#40 Posted by HistoryInRust (6311 posts) -

It's been a couple years since I've graduated with my degrees, but I'll offer some tips for supercharging your productivity this Finals Week:

  • Unplug your consoles. All of them. Perhaps tuck away the power cable in a drawer or in the closet. Sometimes the mere idea that you have to retrieve the cable and plug the system in, while simple, is enough to dissuade you from spending the unnecessary time procrastinating with video games.
  • Work somewhere outside the house. A coffeeshop. A library. In the commons building. Someplace where you'll find yourself surrounded with other students working as well. That environments can breed motivation and double your effort.
  • Stay hydrated and fed. It seems obvious, but an empty stomach or a dry mouth might be the exact thing stopping you from putting your nose to the grindstone the way you'd like.
  • Work in short bursts, not marathon sessions. It's better for your retention to do things in little chunks, but also less overwhelming to break larger tasks into manageable divisions. Fifteen minutes of work, a five minute break (take a walk and get some air!). A half hour of work, a small reward.
  • Be mindful of the internet. When possible, work without your computer and your phone. Pretty simple here--out of sight, out of mind. The internet can be a huge timesink. Use it sparingly if you don't need it. Don't punish yourself for browsing the Giant Bomb forums or Twitter or Reddit for too long, but understand when you've started to waste time.

If you are writing a paper and can't seem to get going on it, Write or Die is a fantastic, if slightly psychopathic, website for people grinding for that extra word. It functions on a negative reinforcement system that alerts the user after a short period of inactivity. The user can set the severity of crazy punishment, ranging from simple internet-locking pop-ups all the way to having the writing backspace itself when you stop writing. You know, if you're extra crazy.

Anyway. Good luck, boys and girls. Work on your fucking shit. You'll feel better after it's done. Believe me.

#41 Posted by SAC (110 posts) -

TAKE ADDERALL

#42 Posted by MyNiceIceLife (622 posts) -

The nice thing about going for a degree in Web Dev and Design is that there are no finals, but my one class's semester long project is coming to an end and I'm hoping now one effs up their part. :) Although, I am graduating (technically commencement was this past Saturday) so I get the stress of trying to find a job now, which may be worse then finals.

#43 Posted by Penzilneck (423 posts) -

@HistoryInRust said:

It's been a couple years since I've graduated with my degrees, but I'll offer some tips for supercharging your productivity this Finals Week:

  • Unplug your consoles. All of them. Perhaps tuck away the power cable in a drawer or in the closet. Sometimes the mere idea that you have to retrieve the cable and plug the system in, while simple, is enough to dissuade you from spending the unnecessary time procrastinating with video games.
  • Work somewhere outside the house. A coffeeshop. A library. In the commons building. Someplace where you'll find yourself surrounded with other students working as well. That environments can breed motivation and double your effort.
  • Stay hydrated and fed. It seems obvious, but an empty stomach or a dry mouth might be the exact thing stopping you from putting your nose to the grindstone the way you'd like.
  • Work in short bursts, not marathon sessions. It's better for your retention to do things in little chunks, but also less overwhelming to break larger tasks into manageable divisions. Fifteen minutes of work, a five minute break (take a walk and get some air!). A half hour of work, a small reward.
  • Be mindful of the internet. When possible, work without your computer and your phone. Pretty simple here--out of sight, out of mind. The internet can be a huge timesink. Use it sparingly if you don't need it. Don't punish yourself for browsing the Giant Bomb forums or Twitter or Reddit for too long, but understand when you've started to waste time.

If you are writing a paper and can't seem to get going on it, Write or Die is a fantastic, if slightly psychopathic, website for people grinding for that extra word. It functions on a negative reinforcement system that alerts the user after a short period of inactivity. The user can set the severity of crazy punishment, ranging from simple internet-locking pop-ups all the way to having the writing backspace itself when you stop writing. You know, if you're extra crazy.

Anyway. Good luck, boys and girls. Work on your fucking shit. You'll feel better after it's done. Believe me.

Some grownup advice there. Thanks, man.