Writer offers helpful last-minute study tips

1. Get enough sleep

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it is something most college students struggle to accomplish. Adequate sleep is a must-have for optimal brain function and clear thinking. Adults need about seven to nine hours a sleep each night, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

2. Skip the junk food

Avoid fast food on study day. Be sure to eat healthy, balanced meals before studying for a test. There is nothing worse than being hungry or unsatisfied while trying to study. Eat a balanced meal before you start studying. Also, skip the sugar. Eating excess amounts of sugar may make you feel alert right after, but the crash is soon to come. If you must snack, grab some pretzels and cheese or fruit.

3. Caffeinate

Starbucks and Einstein’s make this tip easy. A little caffeine will help in your study endeavors. Whether you get your caffeine from a latte or a soda, be sure to get a little while studying. Too much caffeine can also cause the inevitable “crash.” Some people also have health conditions that prohibit them from having caffeine. Caffeinate wisely.

4. Pace yourself

Study in 30-minute increments to ensure you do not burn out quickly. Set a timer to go off every 30 minutes and take a five- to 10-minute break. Do not break too long or you will lose focus. (“I’ll get on Twitter for just a few minutes” — yeah, right.) Also, do not try to study for all of your exams in one day. Plan out when you will study for which tests and stick to your plan. Try not to study for more than two classes each day. Your brain will thank you.

5. Take a Break

Everyone gets the “finals funk” while studying. Our mind gets foggy, our legs stiffen and we just cannot sit still any longer. When you feel this way, move around. Take a 30-minute walk or jog, go for a bike ride, play a basketball game, do yoga or some deep stretches. Exercise will clear your mind and release anxious energy so you can focus.