Students studying

Two students study on the Evansdale campus on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021.

The end of the semester is here and it’s almost time to curl up the couch and watch Christmas movies with friends and family.

But before you have yourself a merry little Christmas, buckle up and take some time to prepare for finals week.

Everyone studies in a different way so here are a few tips from WVU students on how best to prepare for even your most difficult exams.

Find your procrastination sweet spot

“If you leave it to the last minute, you're already screwed.”

That was the advice of freshmen music and health student Isaac McCarthy.

McCarthy says that the best way to study for an exam is to give yourself enough time and to study a little bit everyday.

“The best way to study is incrementally about a week before your final exam in little bits every day,” McCarthy said. “I currently am reviewing for a chemistry exam, it's a week from today. The current plan is to engage in about half an hour to an hour of dedicated review, studying from the ground up for the entire course.”

McCarthy’s study plan is to review practice problems and identify his problem areas leading up to his exam so that he can master them before the day comes.

But while McCarthy stresses the importance of leaving yourself enough time, junior music education major Mandi Bearjar also warns against over studying.

“If you study too long then sometimes the information won't stick because you've just studied it so much. So it's good to organize your finals and study them in that order.”

Bearjar recommends studying one to two days before an exam and keeping a calendar for your finals.

Decide whether or not to study with a group

Some students love to study with friends while others feel they focus better on their own.

Bearjar’s favorite ways to study are to use flashcards and to be quizzed by her peers.

McCarthy, on the other hand, feels that studying in a group is only helpful in certain situations.

“Group studying is best for reviewing concepts, larger ideas and larger frameworks. Typically, when I need to study, I do not need to study concepts, but rather practice problems,”

For tests like his upcoming chemistry exam, McCarthy prefers to study alone and work at his own pace.

Choose a comfortable study environment

Whether you like to work in silence or you have a favorite study playlist, camp out in the location that best suits your needs.

McCarthy believes that the best place to study is in a study room.

“Any place that is social enough, like your dorm, your common room, or even a larger library area is too social for me to accurately focus on my work,” he said

McCarthy prefers to work in places that he only visits for the purpose of studying. He explained that when he studies in other locations he tends to, “Run the risk of either not engaging with my content or becoming distracted.”

Bearjar’s most common study spots include the second floor or the lobby of the Creative Arts Center. When the weather is warm, Bearjar also enjoys studying outdoors.

Other places to study on campus might include the Downtown and Evansdale libraries, the Mountainlair and Evansdale Crossing.

Culture Editor

Lara Bonatesta is the culture editor for The Daily Athenaeum. She is a senior journalism student minoring in electronic media, marketing and trumpet performance from Branchburg, New Jersey.