It’s that time of year again: classes are slowing down, review sessions are picking up and students are stressing out as the time of finals looms near. Thankfully, before the week of doom commences, the powers that be at Tech have instituted a time period which allows gives students a time to breathe, if only for five days. This time period is Dead Week.
Dead Week is defined as a time when â€œquizzes and tests may not be given during the week preceding final exams.â€ Most professors at Tech adhere to this rule, freeing up the week for questions, going over old material or just ending class altogether.
The absence of a rigorous course load varies in meaning amongst Tech students. A few students already have their Dead Week study regime planned out.
â€œIf I have finals in my chemical engineering classes, I make sure to have at least one full day for each subject. [During that day] I go over the notes, the book and old exams. I make sure to study by myself first, and try to understand the material before I study with other people,â€ said Grace Jeong, a graduating fifth-year CHBE.
Other students use the extra time for nonacademic purposes. â€œI don’t really study during Dead Week,â€ said Sophia Fisher, a graduating fourth-year BIO major said, explaining that she uses the extra time to meet up with friends.
â€œI’ve usually taken care of all of my obligations for the semester, so [Dead Week gives me] enough breathing room to sit down and think about all of the people that I lost touch with over the past few months,â€ Fisher said.
In order to maximize the newly available time and its potential to be a great segway into Finals Week, there are a few general tips that can help in one’s preparation of Dead Week.
The best idea is to establish great time management. Treat studying as though the tests were the next day instead of the next week, and use a planner or a calendar to create a study schedule and stick to it.
Proper planning usually makes the amount of course material less daunting and gives greater confidence for the tests.
Planning small breaks inside of study time gives the brain a chance to recharge, and it helps solidify material. Making time for adequate amounts of sleep every night really pays off. The better rested you are, the more information you will be able to retain.
An excellent way to test your knowledge on a subject during Dead Week is to form effective study groups for a class.
It is beneficial to make study groups early because waiting until the night before the test usually encourages panicking instead of productivity. Doing it early gives one a chance to learn the material instead of cramming it for a test the day before.
In getting involved with study groups, make sure that everyone in the group has the mindset to learn.
Study sessions can quickly become â€œbull sessionsâ€, where the wasted time could have been better spent studying on your own. Use all the time wisely to help and to be helped!
Additionally, the best person to talk to next week is the professor. Ask about any material that might have been confusing throughout the semester; after all, they know the material the best and they usually write the finals, so their insight is more valued than anyone else, even more than the people in your class.
Professors often like to see students with initiative, so knowing who you are really helps if you have a borderline grade in the class at the end of the semester.
While studying during Dead Week it is best to keep everything in perspective. Do all that you can while the finals are not immediately within sight to learn as much as possible, so that when finals come you will have the confidence to do your best.
Remember, it is just an exam. Keeping a level head will not only keep you calm and reduce stress, but it will also help improve your test performance.
There are many organizations on campus that have organized events that either encourage studying or provide a necessary break for those who are stressing out.
To find out more information on those it would be best to check out the Tech website for information or keep an eye out for fliers around campus.