Thoughts from Tutors

Surviving Finals

Claire Burrus
Master Tutor

With finals week quickly approaching, it’s time to start preparing for those last tests. Finals are some of the most important tests you will take during your college career as they are often worth a large percent of your final grade. Preparing for finals ahead of time can take a lot of the stress and worry out of the week. Here are some tips to help you survive the dreaded last days of the semester:

  1. Plan ahead

Planning ahead can make finals week less stressful. I find it helpful to plan in meals, sleep, study times, and relaxation time. Having a time for everything makes finals week feel less haphazard and more structured. It also helps me to maximize the time that I do have.

  1. Take advantage of the period of no exams (May 1-May7) and the individual study day

The period of no exams is a great time to get caught up on studying. Learning new material ahead of time rather than trying to cram the night before gives you a little leeway especially if there’s something you realize you don’t understand. You’ll also only have to review the night before which means you can get a full night’s rest the night before your final rather than trying to pull an all-nighter.

  1. Study in chunks and switch it up

Breaking down the material into smaller chunks makes it seem more manageable. Trying to study all 50 lectures from the semester at once will only overwhelm you and you probably won’t retain half of the information. If you break it up over a period of time and switch between subjects, you’ll be less overwhelmed. You may also surprise yourself by how much you are able to get done and remember!

  1. Make sure to schedule plenty of sleep

Your brain needs sleep to function. During sleep, your brain also consolidates information which means that you are better able to recall what you have been studying. Pulling an all-nighter the night before a final to study more may seem like a good idea, but if you are too tired to think straight, you are only hurting your grade.

  1. Don’t neglect your daily routine

If you’re used to working out or doing something else on a daily basis, don’t forget to schedule these activities in during finals as well. Exercising is one of the best ways to relieve stress. A less stressed you means you’ll be able to accomplish more.

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