Posted 20 April 2023
Entering the Final Stretch
Slowly but surely, we’re reaching the end of the semester and that means two things: summer is coming, but so are finals. As a student myself, I know how daunting this time may seem. But finals don’t have to be such a miserable time for us. With poor study choices and lifestyle habits in the run-up to finals season, it’s easy to start experiencing that sense of dread tied to exams. However, there are ways to control these feelings! So, cancel those all-nighter plans and follow some of our tips to breeze through your finals this semester.
Resist the urge to procrastinate!
Getting started is arguably one of the hardest parts of any sizable feat. It’s no surprise that procrastination is a huge culprit when it comes to substandard studying, so simply being aware that procrastination is real is already a step in the right direction. Ideally, planning for finals should start at the beginning of the semester. Since all the information taught during the semester is equally important on the final, remembering things from the first few weeks becomes slightly more important — and slightly more difficult. When you begin your exam prep, it’s important to make a plan and remove any distractions. A strategy that helps me is setting small goals to accomplish, rather than thinking about everything I have to do all at once. Having a plan like this makes studying for finals less overwhelming and can motivate you to get things done.
What is most worth your time?
Take a few minutes to go back and review how your semester went in each class. Is there a class you repeatedly struggled in? Any quizzes you scored notably lower on? Try to devote more time to prepping for these classes and content. Even if it’s your last exam during finals week, prioritize it and study accordingly. Although it’s rewarding to study information you’re comfortable with, you lose out on the time you need to review what you need to study more of. A great way to think about this is by studying material in the order of “definitely, probably, might be” on the final. Material you know will 100% be on the test should be top on your to-do list, with the rest following.
Make the most of your resources.
Even if you are typically an independent studier, collaborating with a peer can be very beneficial. Forming study groups can help with a lot of different things. For example, if you’re losing motivation or need to review concepts you don’t understand, it’s great to have other people to bounce ideas off of. Another tip is to not be afraid to reach out to your teachers. Even though it can be intimidating, it’s important to remember they are there to help! Lastly, talk things out. Something I always try to do is “teach” the material to someone who isn’t in my class. By explaining something aloud you can better reinforce your understanding, and you might even teach yourself things you didn’t understand at first.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself.
Finals season is a stressful time for students and self-care loses priority. Remember to fuel your body with plenty of food and water and get enough sleep every night. Pulling an all-nighter is not a healthy — or smart — strategy, and it rarely works out in the end. Also realize it’s OK to take breaks. Changing study spots is a great way to take a little break and get a change of scenery. Staying mentally healthy is important too. Try not to be too hard on yourself during this time and take everything one step at a time. Yoga and meditation are great ways to clear your mind if you find yourself getting too overwhelmed. Staying healthy has a direct correlation to good exam scores, so remember to take care of yourself this exam season.
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