How to Finish the Semester Off Strong

It’s that time of the year again! You look at your calendar and realize that there’s less than five weeks until the end of the semester. Which means that you have less than five weeks to get yourself together and secure your target GPA. In some cases, these last few weeks can make or break your semester grade for the course. In other situations, the end of the semester is just used for the finishing touches on your final grade. Whatever the case may be, there are steps you can take to make sure that this semester ends with a success!


1. Know Where You Stand

For some classes, knowing your grade is as simple as logging onto Blackboard. For some of your more “technology averse professors”, finding your grade might involve a little bit of work. Check the syllabus to know how much each test, quiz, paper, etc. is worth. Gather all of your papers and with the help of an online grade calculator or just your own stellar math skills—calculate your current grade. This will help you get a feel for what you need to get on any final exams, projects, or presentations. Be realistic, if there is a percentage set aside for participation, don’t assume you have a full hundred percent when counting your points up. Also, going to your professor’s office and simply asking them if they know what your grade is may be an option, depending on the professor. Knowing where you stand is an important step in finishing up your semester.


2. Start Preparing for Finals NOW

Four weeks might seem like a long time. But not only are your finals closer than you think they are, but those few weeks will go by faster than you think they will. At this point in the semester, most classes will be focused on finishing up material rather than starting new material. You have enough information to begin studying for your finals now. Start at the beginning and slowly work your way through your notes and textbooks for the semester. With this much time left, there’s no reason why any student should be cramming days before the exam.


3. Fix Any Miscommunications

A lot of professors very adamantly tell students not to come to them at the end of the semester with a bunch of problems. You can avoid having to be one of these students by working through any problems you have now. Whether you’re making sure you got credit for an assignment you turned it, clarifying a grade on a paper, or asking for a little guidance, now is the time to make sure you are getting the help and the grade, that you worked so hard for.


4. Have A Plan

Now that you know where you stand, have resolved any issues, and allotted yourself a proper amount of time, it’s time to get a plan of action together. Use a planner or calendar to break up your studying by the day. If you haven’t been using a planner (seriously, though?) now is the time to start using one! Arrange time each day to work your way through the material. Not only should you have a plan of what you’re going to be reading, writing, and reviewing each day, but you also need to execute this plan. Keeping to a study plan is a way to guarantee that you’re not overwhelmed the night before a final. Start working while you still have ample time.


5. Have Fun

An end to another semester puts everyone one semester closer to finishing their college career. Maybe you’re checking off your first semester in college ever. Maybe you’re entering your last. Regardless, try not to let these last few weeks be completely and totally about studying. Hang out with friends, call your siblings, or go to an on-campus event. You’ve worked hard thus far. While you do want to get good grades, you should also end this semester having made tons of great memories.