After 12 years of studying it finally happened…I AM DONE! I finished my finals a week ago and our prom will be on Friday – do I feel like a grown-up? No. Nevertheless my heart feels lighter and there is no stress about school anymore which is awesome. The G8 system especially in Bavaria is no bed of roses and no one will get good marks for you except yourself.
Being honest I get stressed very easily and that often was the case because I put studying off as long as possible – many nights I ended up crying in front of my desk because I couldn’t manage the time properly. I changed this behavior for my finals and it absolutely worked. That’s why I want to share my tips and tricks to survive school/finals. I used this method mainly for big exams for little ones it’s too much work in my opinion.
Pay Attention And Take Notes During The Lessons
It all starts with your preparation in school. Listen to what the teacher says, take notes during the lesson and ask when you don’t understand something. During the last years of school it’s also important to participate orally because these marks count as much as the written ones (e.g. in Bavaria). Prepare yourself for the next lesson by reading through your notes quickly and storage them sorted in a folder. Do not leave the notes inside your pad and forget them.
Key is to Stay Organized
As I mentioned before organization is everything. I’ve got folders for every semester and for every subject (you know these little ones made up of these two metals with a fixing strap) which I sorted into a bigger folder. The little ones I took with me every day depending on which subjects were taught. When the exam period starts you don’t have to search your stuff or ask your friends (btw when you’re sick always get the notes from your friends!!)
Create A Schedule
Over the years I noticed that having an actual plan you need to follow is helpful. Sit down and gather all the topics (plus your records) you have to study for. Create a schedule concerning these topics and the time you need to summarize and learn. Timing is everything at that point – be honest with yourself because it’s always better to plan more time than you actually need!
Use Your Planner
Now it’s time to integrate your plan into your life. Take a look into your appointment calendar and write down the topics you have to study for! Again being honest with yourself is important: Don’t say that you’ll study 6 hours a day when you clearly won’t do that. I think 3-4 hours are enough per one day because there always are some other things that need to be done on that day (like sports, piano classes or just leisure time). I would recommend to end your studying plan one week before the test…trust me this week is very important for you to repeat all the summarized and studied texts.
Especially in Maths studying doesn’t help you much without practice…you’ll know what to do when you derived a thousand times not when you’ve just been looking at the rules. I know it sucks and I hate Maths but it helped me a lot.
Another idea is to practice for your oral exams. In my school we had to give a presentation on our thematic priority. This presentation should be created in 30 minutes before the exam. I prepared these at home thinking about a topic they might would ask me to present. Luckily I was able to use both of my presentation ideas in my exams. Besides this fact it’s also good to prepare yourself so that you know what it means to talk 10 minutes straight about one subject. It will give you a feeling about how time is passing by during a presentation.
It’s hard to tell yourself “I have a ton of stuff to do and worked for 3 hours straight and even though it’s not done yet I need a break”. I used to take e.g. my vocabularies everywhere I could possibly imagine with me to “study”. When you catch yourself just staring at the paper without keeping the facts in mind than you should take a break! Breathe, don’t think of what you have to do next and just relax for 10–30 minutes (depending on how much you’ve already been studying).
Focus on your aim: You want to be done with school without repeating grades? Then sit down and study. You won’t get good marks by doing nothing. Is this party more important than your final exam? Can’t you shop online after the work is done? Ask yourself those questions! My motivations are my family, my boyfriend, my friends and my blog. After learning I was able to have more time for them so I decided to get my work done as fast and well as possible.
And last but not least do not freak out! You did everything possible and then you’ll see what will happen.