4 Study Tips to Get You Through Finals

Although all college students know that the primary reason we’re here is to learn, sometimes academics can be a bit overwhelming, especially during finals weeks. With all the complex classes we’re taking, having a social life, working and trying to take care of yourself, it sometimes seems impossible to maintain a good GPA and finish off the semester well. It may seem daunting, but know that it is obtainable! Here are some tips to hold together both great grades and your sanity during finals.

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Go to Class

This one may seem obvious, yet it’s critically important, especially during the last few weeks of the semester. By going to class, you get to directly hear the professor explain all the concepts to you. Some of these are tricky enough to learn directly in the classroom, so attempting to teach it to yourself later on may be incredibly time consuming. You’ll be taking a direct hand in your education and will be able to develop a relationship with your professor if you attend class (almost) every time. As well as creating a relationship that could aid in networking and recommendation letters down the road, going to class will probably make the professor more understanding if you need an extension on an assignment or extra help on anything. The majority of your tuition goes toward your academics, so go to class!

Critical Reading

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As an English major, I’m assigned a ton of reading each week. Sometimes it’s simply impossible to actively read every single word; this is definitely true during finals. This is where critical reading comes in handy. Instead of trying to read absolutely everything on the page, make sure you read and fully comprehend the general argument or thesis of whatever you’re reading. For fiction, this could be the motivations and effects the characters are having on the plot; for a STEM or Social Science class, this could be the observations and methods of the experiment. By doing this, you’ll retain the information better, instead of reading every word until your eyes glaze over and you forget what class you’re reading for in the first place.

Do the Most Pressing Tasks First

This semester, I’m taking a Latin class that meets every day. Since it’s on a daily class, I make sure I have all the homework for that class done before turning my focus to anything else. This is a great time management tip; if you’re looking at two assignments, and one is due before the other, get that one done first, even if the other one is shorter or easier. The sense of accomplishment and the freed brain space will spur your motivation even more!

Take a Break

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This may seem a bit counterproductive; if you’re studying, shouldn’t you keep studying until you know that you understand everything and have completed everything for all your classes? I sometimes think this way, but I’ve learned throughout my time in college thus far that taking breaks are a huge part of avoiding burnout and maintaining the drive to achieve. I try to grab dinner with my friends as often as I can, do yoga twice a week, set aside time to just watch Netflix while doing my laundry and read something recreationally every night before I go to bed. These are my own ways of unplugging; you may opt to do something different, and that’s great! During finals week, you may be more crunched for time, but even doing just one of these activities will help. As long as you take a bit of a break from studying whenever you feel yourself lagging, you’ll discover how much better off you’ll be for it.

Maintaining a high GPA in college, on top of everything else you’re doing, may seem like an insurmountable task. However, with some key studying and lifestyle tips, it’s definitely something that can be achieved, even during finals!