Tips to Help During Finals Week

As finals season approaches, it is easy to get caught up in the amount of work you have to do, neglecting your health in the process. I’ve been guilty of this habit many times, opting to pull all-nighters and binge energy drinks to make my way through finals week during my first years at college. Now that I’m a junior, I think I have some healthier habits to fall back on. Here’s my list of productive tips and tricks to help manage finals season and stay on track. 

Plan Out Your Finals Schedule and Due Dates

writing in book with cup of coffee and croissant Photo by Cathryn Lavery from Unsplash As you’re approaching finals week, go ahead and look over all of your syllabi and make a complete list of your projects, essays, and exams with due dates. Having all of your assignments written out ensures that you aren’t forgetting anything, and allows you to plan when each final needs to be completed. 

Schedule Breaks While You Study

When completing work and studying, it’s easy to get caught up and let hours pass by. It’s important to incorporate breaks when you’re working because letting your brain take a break helps ensure that the time you are studying is as productive as possible. I also recommend stretching your legs during breaks, or even going on walks: these help your body prepare for your study session. One supported study technique is the Pomodoro Method — 25 minutes spent studying, followed by a five minute break. Once you complete four, 25-minute study blocks, go ahead and take a longer break (around a half hour).  

Make a Study Playlist

Spotify on iPhone Photo by Fixelgraphy from Unsplash I find the easiest way to get in the study or writing-mood is by listening to a specific study playlist. When writing English papers, I listen to an instrumental playlist full of movie soundtracks, which inspires me to stay on task and crank out my work. Other common study playlists include lo-fi hip hop beats and coffee house playlists.

Meal or Snack Prep

One of my worst study habits is ignoring food and drinks while I study, which always makes me tired and irritable and doesn’t help my productivity. Make sure to stock up on study snacks for late-night sessions, plan out some meals if you’re going to be spending all day studying, and make sure to stay hydrated with plenty of water. I definitely use coffee and energy drinks to keep me going, but balance them out with water and snack breaks.

Try and Get Good Sleep

Pexels My final tip is making sure that you’re prioritizing sleep when you’re studying. Getting a full eight  hours allows you to stay focused as you work, and is especially important the night before an exam. Sleep is also helpful to manage stress, and we know that finals season is always stressful.