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A few tips to surviving the horror of college finals

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By Desiree Perez

Photo illustration (Khai Le)

By Desiree Perez

Finals… suck.

Only one obstacle stands in the way between students and the end of the semester-finals.

Sure, the end of semester rite of passage seems like a monumental task.

No matter what classes students take, finals always seem to elevate those stress levels and bring a frantic pessimism to the end of term. While the challenge of finals may seem monumental, there are some easy guidelines you can follow to help ease the suffering.

Be prepared. Have your Scantrons and number 2 pencils ready for action.

Don’t procrastinate. It’s practically a requirement for college students to hold off on anything until the last minute. Fight your instincts and start preparing for finals ahead of time. While looking over things right before a test can be really helpful, especially to visual learners, it doesn’t help nearly as much as actually having time to process and understand the information.

Don’t psyche yourself out. You’re taking a final, not diffusing a nuclear bomb. If you slip up, you’ll still walk away with a pulse. The more unnecessary pressure you put on yourself, the harder it will be for you to really focus on what you need to get done.

Study groups work-if you don’t mess around. But make sure your classmates know they’re helping you. Don’t copy their test answers and call it a “study group.”

Take breaks. As a rule of thumb, for every couple of hours you study, take a 15 to 20 minute break.

By ripping yourself away from the text book or computer screen, you reenergize your mind for another round of studying.

Don’t pull an all-nighter, it won’t help you. Sure, you might finish reading a few chapters, but you’ll be slower and less coherent for the test.

Don’t think that knocking back a couple of Monsters will make up for the lack of sleep either. Energy drinks increase the level of adrenaline in your body.

Drink lots of water. Not so much you spend most of your test time in the bathroom peeing, but enough to help your body process energy (about 2.5 liters a day).

There are countless things you can do to help yourself prepare for finals. Even still, Riverside City College has programs and events on campus to lend a helping hand. Besides canceling club events for “Dead Week” to allow for study time, RCC provides tutors and is hosting “Cram Fest.”

At “Cram Fest” students will have the opportunity to meet one on one with a tutor without having to set up an appointment. Students can also pick up a finals survival kit at “Cram Fest,” complete with note cards, Scantrons and other helpful tools.

As a final note: Remember, it will all be over soon. The test will only take a couple of hours. After that, you’re home free.

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