A Freshman Girl's Guide to Final Exams


DO give yourself study breaks.

Don’t plan on locking yourself in a room with a Red Bull and a bag of chips for hours on end. Your mental alertness will start to diminish and you won’t retain what you’re learning. So take 30 minutes to go get frozen yogurt, Skype with a friend or go for a walk. Then refocus on your study materials feeling refreshed.
 

DON’T Cheat. Ever.

You may have been able to get away with the sly copying-off-your-best-friend’s-exam routine in high school, but college is a whole different ballgame. Sure, you might be able to get away with it now too, but the punishment of being caught is extremely severe, ranging from failing the class to being expelled from the university (not to mention the fact that cheating is unethical). Keep these scenarios in mind before you decide to do something you might regret later.
 
DO review your midterm in case any questions are repeated on the final.

Most professors aren’t trying to trick you. So if you’re given a midterm (or multiple midterms) and the final is cumulative throughout the semester, you’ll probably see some repeat of questions, or at least concepts. Go over any previous tests in great detail. Not only will this help you understand your professor’s testing format, you might see some of the exact same questions.
 
DON’T forget the blue books and Scantrons.

It is really important that you have all of your materials when you show up to the exam. This isn’t the SAT. Some schools will give out blue books at the exam, but if you’re told beforehand that you need to bring them yourself the professor probably won’t have extras handy. It’s crucial that you realize what you need to bring before the exam starts. Don’t count on your classmates to have extras either! And if you’re using a Scantron, double-check to make sure you didn’t skip any rows and throw off all your answers. Since college classes are often way bigger than high school classes, you won’t be able to talk your way out of a big mistake like that!
 
DO get some exercise during finals week.

One of the best ways to blow off some steam (literally) is by hitting the gym. “Working out during finals week helps me distress, clear my mind and get my endorphins going,” says Karen.
 
“Besides the obvious short-term benefits of exercise, in the long-run general fitness improves our ability to withstand the stresses of the day,” Paul Leavis, PhD, associate professor of physiology at Tufts University School of Medicine said in an interview with a Tufts student publication.
 
DON’T show up late to the exam. 

This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people stroll into exams late. “I’ve seen people show up late to exams and run out of time,” Jordan says. So if being on time isn’t your thing, change that… at least for finals week.

DO find out if you know anybody who has taken the class before.

As a freshman, chances are you aren’t the first person you know to take a class, especially if it’s a big introductory course that you’re worried about. So ask around your sorority, sports team or post a status update on Facebook and see if anybody you know has taken the class already. If you find somebody (and they had the same teacher), there’s a good chance that the test will be similar—if not exactly the same—so ask the person for study advice!