I love hitting November. Academically, it means that the first part of the year is more than halfway over, and winter break is looming closely on the horizon. Of course, this also means that November is a time to start prioritizing assignments. Most courses have either final essays/assignments or final exams.
For a final exam, you need to start laying out a studying schedule. Cramming may help you the night before, but to retain information and boost your confidence level, you may want to start studying now. Some people like to take a few minutes each day going over material, while others take a few hours on one day to go over larger chunks of material. Find the method that works best for you and start studying! Studying may work best if you have a study group to encourage you, but some people prefer working at their own pace. My favorite method of studying for an exam is making flashcards. Not only do you have a great practice tool at the end, but by taking the time to write out the information onto index cards you’ve increased your exposure to the material. Make sure you put any studying appointments into your planner to help keep yourself on track!
A final essay or assignment can be stressful, because it seems hard to find the time to work on a big project when you have so many little projects with more immediate deadlines. However, by breaking a large project into smaller pieces, you’ll be able to lay a strong foundation. If your final essay or project requires research, plan out a few days far in advance to start your researching. I like to sequester myself in a library for a few hours on a November Saturday, surrounded by all the books I could possibly need and with a reliable internet connection. If you can’t do too much reading in one day, find resources you think will help you and then schedule time to go over each one. Make sure that whatever schedule you make allows you to finish your research far in advance of when the project is due! After all, research is only the first step you have to worry about. When you’ve finished your research, you still have to assemble the paper, and you’ll need time to do that as well. To help break down a final paper even more, take the time to create a very detailed outline. Some people swear by this organizational tool, while others find it difficult. You have to find the method that works best for you!
The best tip to beat the November slump is to get started on final assignments early! Plan out your time far in advance (with the help of your handy-dandy planner) to avoid stress, and enjoy the pre-holiday excitement that’s in the air!
What are some tips you have for beating the November slump and the December rush?