5 Tips That’ll Help You Ace Your Finals

It might seem difficult to even think about finals right now, but knowing you aced your exams will make your Summer Break experience so much better! So, if you’re in havoc with finals preparation, I’m here to help!

1. Have Your Schedule Planned Out in Advance

With having multiple exams back to back, it can be quite difficult to find time to balance everything - not just making time for the actual exams you have to study for but for the millions of assignments and other obligations you have to deal with. I have found that utilizing a calendar and putting everything into it has helped me out significantly. I use Google Calendar to help me stay organized. I put my exam dates, times to study, meetings/events, and even sometimes when to eat. It might seem excessive, but finals week is an entirely different ball game from other weeks of school. Also, with almost any brand of laptop, there is a “sticky note” app where you can pin sticky notes to your home screen, which is where I also put reminders. Why use an actual sticky note when you can just use an app that produces no waste and can’t be lost?

2. Avoid the Temptation of Social Media

A lot of my friends tell me that they only keep social media on their phones for when they are taking breaks and need something to do with that time. But that 10-minute break can turn into 30-minutes and then an hour, and then BOOM here comes the regret of wasting an hour. I know some people who solve this by putting away their phone altogether. However, if you’re like me and like to listen to music while studying, this can be quite difficult. I usually listen to music off my phone while studying, and I found that just deleting social media apps during the week helped me stay focused on my academics. It’s not a distraction for me because it’s not on my phone at all. I usually do this when time spent on social media could be put to better use. If you’re worried about other notifications, you can always put your phone or laptop on “Do Not Disturb.” There are ways to control the temptation. You just have to be willing to follow through.

3. Find Your Best Study Spot

It can be difficult to find the best place to study considering certain factors, like if you live in a dorm or an apartment and have noisy neighbors. Or if it seems like every place on campus to study is unavailable. However, there are ways to combat these situations. For starters, reserving rooms in the library or the Watt Center can be helpful. It may not seem like it, but many buildings are still open on the weekend and could be an alternative to the library when it turns into a hot spot. Also, do you prefer your study space to be a bit noisy? Or no noise at all? The study rooms or the library on-campus can sometimes be significant social settings. If you know that’s not what you prefer, go to the library’s silent floor or find a cubicle. Is studying with your friends the best bet for you? Are they more of a distraction or assistance? Where else could you go to? Maybe that one coffee shop downtown? Or the Union on-campus? Or even the treadmill at the gym? I have heard from many that physically moving while studying can help you retain information better. Finding what best works for you is the key to staying focused.

4. Have Your Snacks Packed

After Freshman year, I learned that not having snacks while studying is a BIG “no no.” I spent too much time while I was supposed to be studying looking for a vending machine, going to the P.O.D Market, and debating whether or not I should make a quick run to Wendy’s. It was a mess. I solved this by grabbing some quick items from the dining hall before I went to study or grabbing some things from my room if I had them. If you don’t necessarily have the means or time to always buy snacks, I’ve found that going to the Paw Pantry located on campus is helpful. There are no questions asked, and you can take as many items that’ll benefit you.

5. Prioritize Your Time

This one is a no brainer. Going downtown with your friends on a Tuesday night just because they have half-priced drinks at TD’s probably isn’t the best bet if you have an exam the next day. You’d be surprised by what I have heard from some of my peers because, again, this is college! Those same half-priced drinks will still be at TD’s the next week, but that chance for a potential “A” is gone- unless you have a photographic memory or some kind of super ability to remember, then I am totally envious of you. But just remember that it doesn’t hurt to turn down a friend’s offer when you always have the next day to go out! Go out after your exam so you can celebrate getting through it.

Hopefully, you all will be able to implement these tips to help you these next hectic days coming up. Just remember to get through the week, and you’ll have your Summer trip in Malibu or a dates with your couch watching Netflix. Happy Studying!