A Freshman Girl's Guide to Final Exams

DON’T throw out (or burn) your class materials until you get your official grade.

Though this doesn’t occur often, sometimes grade disputes happen and you feel like the grade you received doesn’t reflect your final grade. However, you can’t prove this to your advisor or other school faculty members without showing examples of your work and tests. “I had a professor give me a low grade in one of my classes. My school had me create a binder of all the work I had done throughout the semester, and my grade in the class went from a B to an A,” Robyn says.
DO dress in layers for the test.

Final exams may be a pain, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear uncomfortable clothes. Wear leggings or comfortable skinny jeans and a tank top, sweater and jacket so you’ll prepared whether the test room is hot or freezing. “I usually wear athletic shoes or sandals, workout pants, a t-shirt and a sweatshirt to finals. That’s my go-to outfit because I know I’ll be comfortable throughout the test,” says Grace, a junior at the University of Oregon.
DON’T help anybody out unless it’s a two-way street.

Okay, that sounds a little harsh. But, whatever you do, don’t make an awesome study guide and send it to everybody in the class. It’s great if you collaborate with your friends or other classmates to create a study guide (in fact, you shoulddo that!), but don’t just give your study materials to other people in the class because you’re feeling a little generous. Make your hard work pay off for you!

DO tackle the hardest part of the test first.

If you’re taking a long test, start by doing the hardest section first. On many tests, this means the essay section. If you can power through the essay(s), you’ll feel better knowing that they’re done and can easily finish the multiple choice. “I like finding the essay question that I know is going to be the hardest so that I can finish in a timely manner and still have time to do the easy ones,” says Grace.
DO bring extra pens, pencils, erasers, water—whatever you might need!

Whenever you walk into a test, think worst-case scenario. You might lose a pen, break a pencil or be in desperate need of an eraser after you realize your Scantron bubbles have been off by a question. So be prepared for this! Don’t expect other people to help you out mid-test. “Last semester, I forgot to bring a pencil because I’m bad at planning ahead, so I was scrambling and I had to take the test in red pen. It was kind of embarrassing,” says Michelle, a senior at the University of Southern California.
Use these tips and you’ll surely be on your way to final exam success. Remember, the best way to study and prepare for a test is to learn what works best for you. Good luck and keep your eyes on the prize (winter break!) collegiettes!
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