You know it’s finals week when people actually start to show up to class again, when the library is so packed it becomes survival of the fittest just to get a seat and Jazzman’s is sold out of coffee
before 8 a.m. rather than their usual 10 a.m. sellout. In all of this last-minute chaos, doesn’t anyone use their syllabus anymore? If you’re one of many scrounging around trying to complete last-minute 10-page papers, studying for that final exam consisting of a whole semester’s worth of work and knowledge, you’ve probably considered at least one of these common test myth methods to try and help you through. But how accurate are they? Do they really help you?
1. “When in doubt, just pick C.”
C is statistically the most common correct answer for multiple choice test questions. However, this does not mean that C is the correct answer to the question you’re stuck on! Trust your brain, not a statistic.
2. “Rub some Chapstick over the black lines on the edge of the Scantron.”
Rubbing Chapstick on your Scantron is commonly believed to cause a glitch in the grading machine, which in return marks all of your answers correct. In reality, the machine rejects your Scantron, requiring your instructor to grade your test by hand.
3. “Studying the night before an exam is bad.”
In the case that you have not yet studied at all, yes this is bad; your brain will not absorb information you should have been retaining all week, not all night. Studies have shown that memory retention is enhanced by sleep but a quick review of the information to ease your mind will give the confidence you need to pass your test in the morning.
4.“Go with your gut.”
Subconsciously your mind knows the answer in some way or form; you’ve learned it before. Don’t overthink things. Go with what you know or what catches your eye first.
5. “Listen to music while you study.”
Studies have shown that music stimulates both sides of the brain. When both sides work, it will help increase memory recall. Listening to music is not bad while studying, so listen on.