How to Get Through Finals

By Kayla Macaalay

Guest Writer

Final exams are fast approaching, and let’s face it: this is the most painful time for all of us. But this is not the time to slack off. Here are some useful tips for finals week:

1. Know the content and format of your exams. You need to clarify what materials are going to
be included. Is the final only going to include materials covered since the midterm or is it going to be cumulative? Also, ask your professor
what the format is – multiple choice, short answers, or true/ false and modify your study technique according to the exam format.

2. Create a study schedule. Do this to maximize your study time for each subject. This will also help avoid cramming the last minute. Don’t just make a study schedule – follow it too.

3. Learn how you study best. Everyone learns differently. Visual learners use pictures, maps and graphic organizers to better understand new information. Verbal learners have a strong reading/writing preference and they learn quickly through words. Auditory learners best retain new information through listening and speaking, such as lectures and group discussions. Kinesthetic learners are hands-on learners and learn better through figuring things out by hand. Know which learning style works best for you and use it.

4. Quiz yourself. Gather all the questions/problems that might be included on the exam, and try to answer/solve all of them correctly. If your textbook has some practice tests available online, take advantage of this opportunity. Similar questions might appear on the exam. Also,
try to refrain from peeking through the answer sheet while doing practice tests. Just practice until you get everything right.

5. Study with a group.

Some students learn faster when working within a
group, and they also have the opportunity to exchange ideas and ask questions. However, remember to stay focused. Studying with a group may be effective sometimes, but it can also be unproductive if you get distracted easily.

6. Get a good night’s sleep. Although most college students mistakenly think

that studying all night will help them learn more for an exam, studies prove that pulling an all-nighter does more harm than good. Well- rested students are more calm and alert when it comes to taking exams. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep – you’ll thank yourself later.

7. Eat breakfast. Taking the exam with an empty stomach is a bad idea. It
will be more di cult for you to focus on the exam. Eat something before you take your exam, this will help you concentrate more.

8. Know when to stop studying. Only study lightly for the few hours before your final exam, and don’t attempt to retain new information. You will only stress yourself out – and even worse – confuse yourself. Flashcards can be a good resource if you want to study lightly before an exam.

9. Relax. We all know that finals week are extremely stressful, but try to relax. Stressing out will drive you crazy and prevent you from doing well on the exam. Remind yourself that you’ve been studying a lot and you are more than ready to take the exam. Good luck!