Long time, no see. I apologize for my brief absence. The week prior was finals week and I wanted to dedicate all of my free time to my studies. Nonetheless, I am back and have lessons to share. Finals week in another country is an experience to say the least. I had four exams in total, but almost all of them were back to back and on the same day. The good news? I survived and am here to tell the tale.
How to Conquer Finals Week
1.Begin studying and preparing weeks in advance.
A study habit I learned very early in my academic career is that the moment you start the classes you should begin studying the material. As I said before, I had three finals in one day which means that I did not have the luxury of studying for one final per day. I studied by priority and difficulty, which meant I started to study for my business final the second week of classes. Each day, I tried to dedicate fifteen to thirty minutes to reviewing notes for each class. Gradual learning and studying will set you up for success.
2.Talk to your professors.
Again, I am going to use my business class as an example simply because it taught me a lot both inside and outside the classroom. For this class, I made an ENORMOUS study guide starting the second week. After class one day, I went to ask for some clarification questions and my professor ended up pointing out exactly what I needed to study in order to be successful on the exam. Even though the exam was still extremely difficult, I felt like I was adequately prepared for the material and questions.
3. Relieve yourself of unnecessary stress.
For me, this meant reminding myself that these classes are only “pass/fail.” Since I am in a non-UF study abroad program, my classes will transfer over as credit only, which means it will not affect my GPA. Now, before you jump to conclusions and say, “Emma, it still shows up on your transcript. You need to do your best,” bear with me. You see, when it comes to taking exams, it is all a mind game. I am a victim of major test anxiety, so if I trick myself into thinking that the letter grade is not important, I will excel because the pressure is gone. For example, my business class was the most difficult class I have ever taken in my academic career. Honestly, I was afraid that I would even pass it. As soon as I accepted the concept that it was just pass/fail, my mind was at ease and I went into the exam with a clear mind.
Update: I not only passed my business class, but got an 8.5/10. That is an A-.
Going into an exam calm, cool, and collected will give you a special edge when it comes to exam success. If you are anything like me, test anxiety is the biggest culprit for not doing well on your exam. When you get the test back, you say things like “Oh my word, I put that? I knew that was the wrong answer.” Anxiety has this mysterious power over the human brain that clouds your judgement and your thought process. Make sure you go into your exam room relaxed. When you receive the exam paper, just take a deep breath and write down what you know.
This is Salvador. He is the only professor I know that will sing opera at 8:30 a.m. to wake up his students.
My roommate and I had a wonderful beach weekend to Salobreña and Nerja. Both were absolutely beautiful. Salobreña reminded me of a sleepy little beach town that was filled with families and locals. Nerja was probably the prettiest beach I have ever been to in my life. The water was so clear and beautiful.
Our time in Nerja started cloudy, but it turned into an absolutely gorgeous day. Also, my director showed us how to get to “private” public beaches from El Balcon de Europa. We had our section of the beach practically to ourselves.
Stay tuned for some more updates as the week progresses!