The one week every semester that college students dread… finals week. I know how hard it is to constantly be reviewing, studying, and especially cramming for final exams can be. That is why I am here to provide you with some tips that I hope will help you during this stressful time of the semester.
The last thing you want to do is procrastinate. Preparing a study plan can not only help you better prep for study time but can also help alleviate some of the stress that often comes with studying. Usually, I will lay out a plan of when I am going to study for which classes. You want to make sure that you aren’t cramming all of your studying into one day, and that you aren’t waiting until the night before to try and cram course material into your brain. Studies have shown that studying over the course of a few days before an exam is a lot more effective than cramming all of the information the day before, the night before, or even the hour before your exam. My main point here is that preparing a study plan for finals week will help you keep track of your time and likely make you feel less stressed going into your exams.
Sleep is the most important component of a successful finals week - aside from food of course. I like to make sure that I get at least 6-7 hours of sleep every night so that I am well-rested and able to concentrate. I have found that it is more difficult to focus if I haven’t had enough time to rest. If I haven’t had enough sleep, I will sit and stare at the course material for hours but not actually take in or memorize any of the information. This is why it is SO important to make sure that you’re allowing your brain time to rest by getting enough sleep every night.
Another great tip for finals week is to study with friends. Creating a study group for finals week not only gives you the opportunity to ask questions if you need to but also makes sure that you’re actually understanding what you’re studying. Quiz each other. Being able to discuss the course material with your classmates usually also makes you realize what parts of the material you need to spend more time on.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to block out distractions. I like to change my study location if I start to become easily distracted by my surroundings. You’re more likely to have a successful study session if distractions are gone. In the case of finals week, sometimes studying in the campus library where it’s quiet is better than studying in your dorm room where there is more temptation to fall asleep or watch tv. In addition, studying in the library alongside other students can also motivate you to continue studying when you start to feel overwhelmed or tired.
Perhaps the most important tip that I can give to you is to remember to give yourself some credit. Remember how hard you’re working to prepare for finals. Buy yourself a drink, a snack, or take a break. Stay hydrated. Eat healthier foods. Whatever you do, don’t overwork yourself. Being overwhelmed and stressed out does nothing but exhaust your body and bring your productivity down. Encourage yourself to keep a positive attitude and remind yourself that finals will be over soon! You got this.