How to Crush Your Finals

so taking exams is a very stressful

experience for a lot of people and I've

noticed that many students don't

actually have very good strategies for

studying for these exams we're getting

ready for these exams a lot of people

kind of just you know read through all

of the notes they might do some practice

tests they might you know look at old

tests stuff like that but not a ton of

people have a really rigorous method

that helps them to succeed on all of

their finals and I was very lucky

because I had some really amazing

teachers at the beginning of high school

and my dad being one of them that gave

me strategies for how to approach tests

mentally and then also how to study for

them how to prepare so that you're ready

to just crush it on test day and I want

to share those strategies with you their

strategies that have helped me to be

pretty successful on that every final

that I've taken throughout high school

and now at Harvard so without further

ado here are the strategies that I use

to be successful on finals so the first

thing that I want to share is the

mindset that I found to be really

effective for getting ready to study for

finals for actually studying for finals

and then being in the final taking the

final itself the mindset that I have is

to always view it like it's game day

okay so think about all of the hard work

that you've been putting in all year

you've just been crushing it you know

you've been doing all your homework

you've been studying for every test

you've been doing everything now it's

time for all that hard work to pay off

okay it's time for you to show off what

you've learned to show off what you can

do it's game day like it's an

opportunity so it's okay to be nervous

but make sure that you're using that

nervous energy to excel to study harder

and and to be really sharp on test day

as opposed to you know holding yourself

back and procrastinating from studying

so think about it like it's game date

like it's it's time for you to show off

what you can do


so on debt actually studying what do I

actually do what I'm getting ready for


well the first thing that I do is I'd go

through all of my notes in the order

that they appeared in the course and I

try and pick out the key concepts and

write them down into a cheat sheet now I

try and keep the cheat sheet down to

just one or two pages of paper front and

back and what this allows me to do is

basically write down a summary of the

course on just one or two pieces of

paper and then usually this is my main

studying tool this cheat sheet allows me

to see everything that I'm going to need

to know in the course so then with the

cheat sheet in hand what I can do is is

almost 4/10 like I'm a teacher so I'll

go through the course from start to

finish and just explain the summary I'll

go through every concept and explain it

from start to end and I don't have to go

super in-depth but if there's a concept

that I feel like I can't explain like

there's a missing piece or like I don't

fully understand it then I go back to my

notes or I go to the lecture notes or I

go online until I feel like I could

comfortably explain it to somebody else

and what this does is it ensures that

you've actually achieved mastery and all

the concepts that you're going to be

tested on because the most sure way to

to know that you've achieved mastery in

something is to be able to explain it to

somebody else so that's why having a

cheat sheet is so effective because you

can pick out the key concepts and if

you're able to explain them all then you

know that you have all of the material

that you're going to need to kill on the


once I feel like I can explain every

concept that's been taught in the course

that's when I start to do practice

problems and the first place that I look

for practice problems obviously is if

the teacher has posted practice exams or

if there are exams from previous years

available it's usually really useful to

do those because you'll have an idea of

what the structure of the exam will

actually look like and usually on these

if I feel really comfortable with it

with a certain type of question then

I'll usually only do it once or twice

because it's kind of a waste of energy

to do the same type of question with

just different numbers if you know how

to solve it you're not really learning

anything okay so I try and do a wide

variety of problems and sometimes the

best place to look for that because you

know you could redo tests and quizzes

from the year it might not be the

greatest though because again you're not

really getting that variety of problems

and developing a toolkit so there's a

resource that I mentioned at the end of

this video and there's a bunch of online

resources where you can usually find

applicable problems that I think is a

very very effective way for for building

a problem-solving tool kit which will

help you on an exam when new problems

show up so if you're at this point then

you've mastered all of the concepts in

the course you've gone through a

sufficient amount of practice problems

to feel comfortable with whatever

they're gonna throw at you you have no

reason to worry it's game day now and

you get to you get to show off the hard

work that you've been putting in you get

to just kill it

okay you just get to crush it and that's

really exciting so just make sure that

you take care of the little things make

sure that you're taking care of yourself

so get a good night's sleep the night

before okay eat bright so you've got

lots of energy for me I like to drink

coffee or green tea just so I've got a

little bit more energy you know so I'm

sharp and also exercise a little bit

okay just right body right mind if

you've seen my other videos like it's a

really important concept so just make

sure that you're taking care of yourself

in two hours and the days leading up to

the exam because your physical and your

mental well-being first of all is more

important than any grade effort but also

if you're not

mentally well then it's gonna be a lot

more difficult for you to do well in

your exams so take care of yourself all

right so if you're like me you need to

do problems in order to understand

concepts especially when studying for

finals tests or even quizzes ensure you

could redo the the homework problems

that you've been doing all year maybe

change the numbers a little bit but does

that really help you to get better at

solving problems and and building a

toolkit so that you can succeed in new

and different scenarios so for me one of

the best resources for finding problems

new and interesting ones has been the

sponsor of this video brilliant org so

I've been on brilliant since 2013 and

it's been a really cool resource because

it has a bunch of interesting math and

science problems and courses that have

helped me over the years to both

reinforce the concepts that I'm learning

in class and therefore help me on tests

and exams but all such as it's helped me

to build a problem-solving tool kit and

to get better at solving problems and I

think that that's one of the most

important skills that you can learn it's

totally free to sign up and if you're

one of the first 200 people that uses

the link in my description to sign up

and you decide to upgrade you'll get 20%

off their premium annual plan so thank

you so much for watching this video I

hope that if you're a student you got

some some test taking tips out of it

hopefully it'll help you if you have

final exams coming up soon or you know

in any tests that you have really in the

upcoming year future years whatever if

you enjoyed the video if you got some

value out of it I'd really appreciate if

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so much for watching