Finals are hard, and being prepared for them can be even harder. Here are a few tips to maximize effective studying.

1. Make a schedule

It can be difficult to juggle studying for everything. In order to stay on task and get everything done, plan out when you'll study for each subject and for how long.

2. Take breaks

You won’t retain all of the information if you sit and stare at a paper for hours. Do an hour or two of studying, then take ten minutes to walk, stretch or eat. This increases focus and productivity.

3. Collaborate with a partner

Instead of getting frustrated searching for the answer in your book and breaking down, work with a partner. Chances are your partner will have the answer or can help you find it. You can even make studying more fun by quizzing each other, or motivating each other.

4. Use Quizlet

If you're unsure on how best to study, try Quizlet or other study-related sites. Not only are there flash cards, but there are also games you can play to help with memory. This works well for those exams where you have to memorize a lot of vocabulary.

5. Peppermint, Peppermint

If you chew peppermint gum or have a mint while studying, it increases your brain functions. If you do the same thing during the exam, your brain remembers the habit and helps you remember that information.

6. Use new techniques

Studies say we learn in several ways. We remember things by writing them, reading them, saying them and hearing them. Use these different techniques to help you remember information.

7. Use study guides

These really aren’t a waste of trees. That annoying piece of paper with hundreds of words could mean the difference of an A or a D. Study these and fill them out. They are generally very similar to the test.

8. Ask your professor

They didn’t give you a study guide? Well, ask them what you should focus on for the test. They will usually talk through what you should study and will be impressed by your initiative. Make sure to take note of updated office hours, because they are likely to be different than the regular semester. 

9. Play music without lyrics

If you are one of those people who needs sound, play anything without lyrics. The lyrics can distract your focus by drawing attention to another source. If you just play instrumentals, there is a less chance of being distracted.

10. Snacks

If you still find it hard to sit and focus on studying, find a system and reward yourself. If you put treats at the end of each chapter you read, or each section you complete on the study guide, it will motivate you to keep going.