Finals Preparation 101

by Joyce Im

Whether you’re in high school or college, quarter or semester system - when summer draws near, you know it’s time to get serious about FINALS. Since I’m in my senior year and working full-time, I really need to buckle down and hit the books hard when I have the time! I’ve developed and honed my own study skills over the years and there are definitely a lot of stationery products that have made all the difference. My tips and tricks might be unexpected for some of you, but trust me, I know what I’m doing and now - you will too!

1. Have a plan.

Use a planner. USE IT. This is one of the best and most basic studying tips in the book and if you’re not doing it already - I really don’t know what to tell you, except that it’s never too late to start, especially with a study planner. Yes, that’s right, a planner specifically designed to guide students to academic success! The Monster Study Planner is not only ridiculously adorable, but also ridiculously detailed. It records your goals and aspirations, and helps you to schedule all of your classes, study sessions, extracurriculars, and more! There are designated spaces for you to record your progress each day and review the week in general! If monsters are too intense for your liking, we also have the ever-beautiful Pattern Ardium Study Planner to help you reach your goals!

Monster Study Planner
Monster Study Planner
Pattern Ardium Study Planner
Pattern Ardium Study Planner

2. Keep everything in one place.

Keep your papers, assignments, and handouts together in one place, like this cute Large Better Together Sailor Pattern Pouch. Now, for organization’s sake, don’t keep every single handout your teacher or professor has ever given you; recycle the ones that you’ve already completed or lack useful information. Better yet, copy important information from handouts into your notebook to consolidate and to keep your resources accessible and organized! Still have too many papers? Stick these adorable Animal Paw Index Sticky Notes to label and categorize them inside your folder! The Better Together pouches are amazing because they also have several pockets for carrying your essential items such as pens, erasers, earbuds, and more!

Animal Paw Index Sticky Note Set
Animal Paw Index Sticky Note Set
Large Better Together Sailor Pattern Pouch
Large Better Together Sailor Pattern Pouch

3. Note-taking - have a process!

I have a very specific process when it comes to taking notes and branding information in my head. During lectures, I just scribble everything into a light, simple notebook, like the Willows Classic Lined Notebook, so I can save as much organic information as I can. When I come home, I copy my lecture notes into my favorite notebook to organize the information in a more useful way. Using my favorite notebook also gives me incentive to be extra careful and write legibly with coherent sentences. My favorite is the Simple Lined Notebook, which has a simple but classic vibe. The Simple Scrap Notebook v2 is also great because each page is sectioned off in little rectangles, which is perfect for grouping key concepts and terminology! I also draw small diagrams or doodles that may help me to understand or remember certain ideas.

Willows Classic Lined Notebook
Willows Classic Lined Notebook
Simple Lined Notebook
Simple Lined Notebook
Simple Scrap Notebook v2
Simple Scrap Notebook v2

4. Capture importance.

When I’m reading, I’ll highlight important passages or vocabulary with a highlighter like these dual-colored Twin Highlighter Pens! I also use the Animal Paw Index Sticky Notes to keep track of where important passages are. I try to minimize writing in my textbooks so the next user won’t be too distracted. Instead, I jot notes down on these unique Iceberg Sticky Notes so my textbook margins can stay clean. They come in different sizes so they fit easily and they look like crystals! I also add these sticky notes to my finalized notes if there is any additional information that belongs to a page that I already finished. Be sure to copy your textbook notes into your notebook and coordinate them with the lecture notes so your notes are more coherent! It’s also proven that rewriting helps with information retention, so get writing!

Twin Highlighter Pen Set
Twin Highlighter Pen Set
Iceberg Sticky Note v2
Iceberg Sticky Note v2

5. Color-code concepts.

Note-"perfecting" time is also when I whip out my special 10 color Vivid Color Pen Set! Color-coding notes helps with organization and using colors also makes certain information stand out more, like key concepts or vocabulary. Be careful not to get too color-happy because it’ll just be a rainbow jumble and nothing will stand out! Be strategic in how you utilize your tools to work for you when you’re reviewing or referring your notes! That’s the goal. When I’m reviewing my notes, I mark the concepts that I’ve mastered or understood completely with these sparkly Hologram Deco Stickers! It serves as a check-mark and a small reward for a job well done!

Vivid Pen Set
Vivid Pen Set
Hologram Deco Sticker
Hologram Deco Sticker

6. Vital pen obsession.

Writing utensils are another vital factor in your studying habits! I’m sure I’m not the only person who's studying mood depends on the feel of the writing utensil! I’m obsessed with writing utensils that write smoothly and have a fine tip. The 3 in 1 Multi Pen is perfect because it contains two different color pens and a mechanical pencil! That lightens my load in one step. I use pens for writing lecture notes because they glide smoothly and I don’t have to worry about breaking lead accidentally. When I’m copying notes or doing assignments, I use the mechanical pencil so I can erase my mistakes. Having two different colors in one pen is great for color-coding my notes, especially when I don’t have my Vivid Pen Set on hand!

3 in 1 Multi Pen
3 in 1 Multi Pen

7. Protect your pencils!

If you’re taking any standardized tests, you’ll likely need a specific pencil like the No. 2 type or other. An issue with standard pencils is the pencil marks that they leave all over my belongings since I can’t hide the lead. That’s why I got these transparent pencil caps! The clear look is chic and clean, and now I won’t despair over my dirty backpack or pencil pouch anymore. My eraser is also protected! The Faber Castell Sleeve Eraser comes with a sleeve so it won’t get dirty or shed eraser bits. Remember to pack plenty of snacks for SAT and AP exams! Nothing makes me grumpier than going through hours and hours of tests without a bite to eat! This will also help your brain to perform optimally.

transparent pencil caps
Transparent Pencil Caps
Faber Castell Sleeve Eraser
Faber Castell Sleeve Eraser

These are the details that help me nail my finals every term! My arsenal of study items not only maximize my learning experience, but also help me to work more effectively in other areas of my life! Of course, everyone has their own style of learning, so it’s best to play to your strengths. Write me a comment and share what products or techniques help you through your study sessions! I’d love to hear more ideas on how to improve as a student!

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