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San Diego State University

@State - the SDSU Student Newsletter

Finals Prep Guide

10 ways to study

November: it’s the calm before the storm that is finals week.

While you may be tempted to embrace the lull and save finals prep work for the last minute, fueled by  adrenaline and caffeine, we have some better ideas. Here are 10 ways to prepare — mind, body, and soul — for finals week, none of which include making flash cards at 3 am.

  1. Tutor Time. There’s nothing like one-on-one guidance to clear up that one problem you just haven’t been able to solve on your own. Take advantage of your professors’ office hours for some beneficial face time with the ones who know the topic best. There’s also the library’s math tutoring center, open to all SDSU students, and the Center for Academic Assistance and Training for students involved in the EOP program.
  2. Stay Healthy, Aztecs. How can you possibly focus on studying if you’re feeling sick? Between Student Health Services’ complete on-site pharmacy and same-day appointments for primary care services, many of which are covered under the health fee you’ve already paid for, there’s no reason to battle an illness by yourself. Even better, go the preventative route and get a quick flu shot at the Calpulli Center to help keep some of the bugs at bay.
  3. Keep it Zen. When it comes to exam season, stress simply comes with the territory. If you’ve ever found yourself drifting off in a massage chair or zoning out to the sound of crashing waves, you’re going to love the Center for Well-Being. Counseling and Psychological Services has dedicated the entire on-campus well-being center to stress management resources, including a massage station, biofeedback center, self-help library and soothing visual/audio aids.
  4. Ace the Written. Located in the SDSU Library dome, the Writing Center is staffed Monday through Friday with writing tutors and faculty from the Department of Rhetoric and Writing Studies. Make an appointment to meet with tutors or simply drop in for individualized guidance and feedback. Use this resource for help tackling a specific assignment or attend workshops aimed at improving your overall writing repertoire.
  5. Get Connected. Final exams, and all the prep time that comes with them, means you’ll be spending more time on campus. If you live off campus, and haven’t been to the Commuter Student Resource Center, now’s the perfect time to get acquainted with your “home away from home.” Located in Student Life and Leadership on the second floor of the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union, it’s a calm, quiet and comfortable space to relax or study. Check the calendar for study workshops and study zone times.
  6. Work Up a Sweat. Exercise isn’t just great for your body — it does your brain good, too. Research shows that cardio workouts boost brainpower with chemicals that enhance memory, problem solving, and decision-making: the test taking trifecta! Join the ARC for access to two on-campus fitness facilities or get in a few games of bowling at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union after class — your brain and your body will thank you.
  7. It’s All About Your Surroundings. Even the most well-intentioned roommates, family members and pets can be a big distraction when you’re trying to create an outline of pre-colonial U.S. history. Take advantage of the SDSU Library’s 24/7 study area for a more focus-friendly atmosphere. The library is also full of quiet little corners to break free from finals frenzy.
  8. Make Time for Play. Sure, buckling down and getting serious about finals is one part of success. But it’s also important to stay balanced, and a little fun can go a long way in avoiding burnout. Stay tuned for details about Midnight Study Break, a free, open Aztec Nights event with tons of food, games, prizes, and yes, even study tips!
  9. Find Help Close to Home. Living on campus, you’re literally surrounded by resources, all of which are a quick walk or bike ride away. But when you’re not in the mood to trek across campus, there’s one academic resource that’s even closer to home. STAR Centers (Students Taking Academic Responsibility) are located in multiple residence halls and are open to any student living on campus with a RedID. The centers feature study lounges, free tutoring, computers and printers and are open 7 pm to midnight Sunday through Wednesday, and on Thursdays from 7 pm to 10 pm. STAR Centers are closed on Fridays and Saturdays.
  10. Strategic Involvement. Great minds thing alike. They also study together. Join an academic major related student organization to start connecting (and studying) with students who are on the same academic track. From the Ceramic Arts Association to the Biomedical Technology Students Organization, there are more than 100 student orgs with plenty of students who could use another study buddy.