Your Survival Guide to Finals Week

This is the moment we’ve all been dreading. Exam week is getting closer and closer. For those who are graduating, this moment may be bittersweet. For others, it is one of the most stressful moments of our collegiate experience. Here I have a survival guide that will hopefully lead you through the beginning of finals week to the end!

Before Finals Week

1. Know Your Schedule 

Before your final, it is important that you verify all details regarding your schedule. Make sure that you know when and where your finals are going to be. Not all universities are set up the same, therefore, some of your finals could be online, or at a completely different location and time than your everyday class time.

2. Experiment With Different Study Methods

Testing the waters when it comes to different study methods could possibly open your mind to more effective study results. Studying the same way every time is fine of course, but explore and allow yourself to try something that could be easier for you and more adequate. Also, rotating study spots could also be helpful. When you study the same information in a series of locations rather than the same spot your brain tends to make more connections. This makes it so that on test day you can recollect the material easier.

Pro-Tip:

Try the 50-10 rule which consists of 50 minutes of studying followed by a 10-minute break to clear your head. This method has been found very helpful due to the fact that you don’t have a brain overload while studying. Sometimes it can be easy to not comprehend information if you’re pushing yourself too hard. This allows you to refrain from self exhaustion.

3. Play Into Your Weaknesses 

It is very productive to study your worst subjects first and save your easier subjects for last. When you study the worst first it is less stressful. Studying in advance can get you very far. Breaking the material up and studying a little bit day by day, rather than cramming is essentially more ideal.  Don’t stress about easy class because they're just that, easy. Make sure your familiar with the material that is going to be on the final or that could possibly be on the final and review it as you need to.

4. Don't Stress Yourself Out

One of the most important tips that I have to offer is don’t make something out of nothing regarding your final, but at the same token don’t make too little of it. See how much the final is worth and constantly remind yourself it is only one class. Try your best nonetheless but don’t work yourself up about any final before you take it. Take a deep breath and remember you got this! Your mental health should not be in jeopardy during this time.

During Finals

1. Prepare Your Mind/Body

During your finals week, you should be getting an adequate amount of rest every day. Pulling an all-nighter will not end in your favor. In fact, it will probably harm you more than it will help you. Cramming and things of that nature will hold you back during finals week. You will start to forget information, get it mixed up and you probably won’t retain half of it. It is best to take your time, prepare early, and do your best.  

Maybe it would be a good idea to stray away from social media this week. Unnecessary time should be spent relaxing and getting focused. Of course checking your phone a couple of times a day won’t kill you, especially if you’re winding down at night. The problem comes in when you tell yourself you're going to study at a certain time and then you spend the next three hours on social media. The posts will still be there I guarantee you! 

2. Practice Time Management

It would be really smart to manage your time wisely. A schedule or planner will get you very far. It is a cute way to stay organized and on top of everything. Getting mixed up could potentially result in multiple mistakes regarding times and locations. It is best to play it safe and plan everything out ahead of time. Also, don’t stop after finals week! Get in the habit of planning things out whether it’s short term activities such as things you do daily or long term things like what’s going on next month or next year.

3. Take A Deep Breath

During the final, my best piece of advice is to take your time. Do not worry about others finishing before you. It will indefinitely psych you out and make you rush. Double check your answers to stay on the safe side and always trust yourself. It is not a good feeling when you get your test back and you see what you got wrong and say, “ I almost chose that answer, but I erased it”, or something along those lines. Bottom line is it is never fun. Work at a pace that is best for YOU. 

After Finals Week

One word, three syllables, nine letters, CELEBRATE! You worked hard and this is where it is all going to pay off. Treat yourself to a new meal or an outfit! Party amongst friends and family, but be safe at all times. Go out and take some “me time” maybe get a massage or get your nails done. Buy new books or go to an event off campus. There are so many options in which you can enjoy the fact that it is finally over.

When all of your finals are complete you need to immediately let it go. There is no turning back and what is done is done. Give your self a pat on the back and take a deep breath, maybe even smile because you deserve it. It is now time for you to go home and reunite with loved ones Appreciate the friends you’ve made and the memories that will last forever and prepare to do the same thing next year. For those who are graduating, reflect on the ride! Your time is up and it is time to move on to bigger things. All of this will be worth it in the long run so get ready to experience the world!