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All the studying tools you need to ace your finals

photo by Element5

Every semester without fail, finals week arrives out of nowhere, and I’m always left scrambling to study and finish up those last assignments. It seems like there a million things on my plate at once, and I spend half of my time figuring out just how I’ll get it all done. This is always a stressful time, but luckily I’ve managed to curate a collection of helpful tools over the years that make surviving finals week a breeze. If you’re looking to up your study game and ace those finals, then this list of tips and resources will be an absolute lifesaver!



photo by Jess Watters.

When it comes to studying, we all know that time-management is truly half of the battle. It can be quite overwhelming when you have so much to complete, and that’s why it’s so important to plan out your study time in advance and knock things off one by one. Schedule out what you need to finish each day in your planner, and if you don’t like carrying one around, download an app like Google Calendar, which can sync up to all of your devices.   


Notes Scanner

If you’re like me and only use one huge notebook for all of your classes, it can be hard to study one subject when the notes are all scattered and disorganized. This app called “CamScanner” has become my holy grail of studying, because it scans your notes and turns them into digital files, letting you organize them into folders by class. Say goodbye to constantly flipping through pages of notes, and hello to (somewhat) stress-free studying!



It’s easy to assume that you know what’s on the page when you’re reading it, but it isn’t until you have to recall it on your own that you can truly find out how prepared you are. Flashcards are the perfect way to judge where you are in terms of having everything memorized, and when a friend quizzes you, it can end up feeling more like a game than work. If you’re insistent upon doing your studying digitally, there’s always Quizlet which lets you create flashcards online, and you can even look up pre-made sets. 


Citation Manager

There’s a good chance that before the semester ends, you’ll have to finish up a few papers along with studying for finals. And if that paper happens to be a research paper, you can find yourself drowning in sources and possibly loosing crucial citations. An amazing app and website, called “Cite this for me“, will store all of your citations and allow you to quickly and easily create a reference list to finish off your essay. 



photo by Priscilla Du Preez

The library is often revered during finals week for its perfect studying atmosphere, but that’s not the only reason you should be camping out there during finals week. In today’s digital world, which I am guilty of being too reliant on, the library is an often overlooked resource when it comes to studying. If you study at the library and find yourself needing more information on a particular subject, save yourself from false Wikipedia information, and take advantage of the endless amount of books that can help you learn everything you need. 


Center for Academic Excellence

The last and most important thing to remember during finals week is that you don’t have to do it all alone. It is more than okay if, despite your hours of studying, you still can’t quite wrap your head around a particular concept. There are always people on campus who are willing to help you do your best, and there are multiple places that you can turn to for some quick tutoring. The Center for Academic Excellence, Math Tutoring Center, and the Writing Center are all amazing resources that will help you prep for finals. Be sure to make an appointment online so that you don’t have to wait around!


No matter how you study, or which tools you end up using, remember that finals week and all of its stress is totally manageable. Take a deep breath, push through the work, and then walk into that final with confidence, because if you’ve put in the time, there’s no doubt you’ll ace it! 


Cover photo courtesy of Unsplash

Kay is an English Lit major and Journalism minor at Hofstra University. She is the instagram editor of HC Hofstra, as well as a contributing writer. When she's not geeking out over 19th century novels, Kay is a lover of red lipstick, broadway shows, and aesthetic restaurant branding.
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