Some people think dead week is a time before finals where you just get to chill out and wait for finals week to start studying. They think the “dead” stands for having no work in any classes. However, if your classes are anything like mine, you know the “dead” in dead week is code for: you’re-going-to-be-dead-by-the-end-of-the-week-because-all-your-final-projects-are-due week. It’s time to buckle down! While you’re getting all those last minute final and group projects finished up, here are some study tips to help you stay sane with the craziness of this week.
Manage your time. Make a schedule of when your exams are, and when you’ll need to be studying for what subject. Try not to cram all in one night or right before the exam; cramming doesn’t usually end too well… start your plan of action DURING dead week and include an even amount of studying for each exam so you don’t wear yourself out. Include down time, meals, and sleep in your schedule.
Say “no” to hanging out with friends instead of studying. You may feel like there is no amount of studying in the world that will help you, so why not blow off studying to watch a movie with friends? Resist the urge to blow off studying until the night before and get a jump start on studying during dead week. That way, during finals week you’ll be able to take breaks and not panic right before the exam. Also, do yourself a favor and avoid stressful people. Ever hear the phrase “misery loves company”? Stress is contagious… and we all have that one friend who FREAKS about everything. During dead/finals week, it may be best to avoid spending prolonged periods of time with them.
Force yourself to take SHORT breaks. After every hour or so of studying, take a 10-15 minute break to do whatever (make a cup of tea, check Facebook, watch TV), but then get back to studying no more than 15 minutes later. Keep this routine—you’ll retain information and you won’t get burnt out so fast.
Eat healthy food and exercise. Eating an apple or granola bar while studying instead of chips will help keep your blood sugar stable instead of making you crash. Exercising, even just taking a 10 minute walk, can help relieve stress and leave you more focused than before.
Get out of your room! If you’re anything like me, it’s really hard to focus on studying at home. With the TV and my bed tempting me, I can never get ANYTHING done. Head to a library on campus; they’ve extended hours for dead/finals week. Hours are posted here.
Also relax some and check out the activities available to Purdue students during dead week! Lots of activities to help students relieve some stress happen during dead week. Keep on the look out for opportunities to take part in some FREE stress relief activities and have some fun during dead week! (There’s usually at least some sort of free food or coffee at different places on campus).
Sleep! Nothing will hinder your focus and learning worse than being sleep deprived. Force yourself to sleep a good amount every night, ESPECIALLY the night before an exam.
Be positive and confident! If you know you’ve studied as much as possible and you know everything as well as you’ll ever know it, then you’re bound to rock the exam. Be confident that you will do your best and whether your best is an A or a C, leave that final knowing you did all you can do.