A Realistic Guide to Staying Productive During Finals Week

The year 2020 has definitely brought up many unforeseen challenges in its wake. Even with all these abrupt changes, life must go on. For college students like me, this means taking all our exams online this semester. Although taking finals is not a foreign concept to us, being at home and shifting to a virtual tutoring and exam environment might make excelling more of an obstacle than before. In order to get into the right headspace for the upcoming spring finals, I have come up with a few easy and attainable ways to adapt to the new exam-taking process this semester.

You've got this letterboard Emma Matthews DIgital Content Production

The Appropriate* Testing Environment

When evaluating your testing space, it’s always good to think about the things you come in contact with when you’re at home. If you have younger siblings and pets, chances are they will prove to be more of a distraction than a motivator during your exam. Make sure the room you choose whether that be your bedroom or a home office space, is clean, orderly, and isolated from everyday household distractions. Also, it’s super important that the internet connectivity in the room you choose is adequate enough to complete your exams. This will help prevent the risk of crashing and possible invalidated test results because you checked it ahead of time.

*Not every testing environment is the same. Choose and customize the best one for you with the materials you have at hand.

The Right Study Techniques

Sometimes the hardest part about studying is knowing how to start. I find it’s easiest to start with the basics of the type of learner you are. Then once you know what kind of learner you are you can check out these handy study methods based on the three classifications. If you are more of a visual learner, making graphs, PowerPoints and seeing notes on a paper might be the best way to get all the information to stick. Knowing how to study and learn is the key to excelling on exam day because the more you remember the easier it will be to answer questions correctly in the allotted time period.

The Usual Routine

Studying and taking exams can consume a lot of your free time but that doesn’t mean you should stop living either. Taking breaks and continuing with your normal routine throughout finals week is just as important as studying. If you think of yourself as a machine then you need to take care of yourself in order to run properly, therefore occasional movie and snacks breaks are okay as long as they aren’t contributing to procrastination. Feeling your best will help you continue to do your best even if your exams are stressful and mentally draining.

Woman sitting on a white window sill looking out into the distance Photo by Alexandre Chambon on Unsplash


When the testing subsides, and the grades are final its best to sit back and appreciate the effort that went into the exam process. There’s always room to improve in the future so remembering what worked and what didn’t for the next time can help you avoid repeating the same mistakes over again. In the end, it’s helpful to know that you successfully pushed yourself through yet another hectic finals week and lived to tell about it.

Want to see more HCFSU? Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest!