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Finals Frenzy!

Unfortunately, it’s just about that time of the year again. We’ve been waiting and preparing for them all semester, and it’s time to face the inevitable: finals week.  You can’t run, and you can’t hide, but you can prepare!

It’s important to not leave all of your studying until the last minute.  Stay organized, eat and sleep regularly, grab some study buddies, find a comfy study spot conducive to studying and get to work! Whether you work best in the library or in bed, in total silence, or with your favorite music, find out what works best for you.

If you’re already stressing about your finals, you’re not alone. We asked a few students around campus to share their stories about their study habits, favorite study spots and any tips and tricks they have for prepping for finals.  Here are some helpful tips from your classmates:

Josh McCrum, Freshman, Exploratory

“For me, what works best when preparing for finals is to get organized. I start by writing a list of my courses along with the date and time of the final for that class.  Next, I print out all of my final exam study guides and assignment sheets. I usually designate a folder for my schedule and all the basic materials I need to prepare.  If you’re a procrastinator like me, take these prior weeks to create things like flashcards and begin to complete study guides. It’s not very difficult, and it can help you with the time factor as the exam date gets closer.  My advice would be to prepare in whatever ways you think might help.  It makes the process of hardcore crunching a lot smoother.”

Elena Haskins, Freshman, Cinema & Photography

“I like to study away from everyone.  It keeps me productive and focused.  I also really like to listen to piano music and Florence and the Machine to keep me on track.”

Carrie Lindeman, Sophomore, Emerging Media- Design & Production

“I try to get at least one thing done each day of finals week so that I don’t feel overwhelmed.  I also schedule study sessions with classmates so I have motivation to actually understand the material before the exam. My favorite spot is the honors lounge in Muller.  Muller is open for long hours and has a lot of study books.”

Joel Kalow, Freshman, TVR

“I like to take copious amounts of notes, review them on my own and then work with a group, usually leading a discussion about the topic. I like to study anywhere, as long as it’s not unbearably loud. It depends on the thing I’m studying for, really.  A group thing is fine in the pub or a lounge, but if I am reviewing on my own, I like to be somewhere with total silence.  Setting times several days a week for studying has always worked for me too.”

Steve Pirani, Junior, Journalism

“I have a really awful tendency to leave stuff to the last minute, but lately I have been a lot better.  So one can definitely say I’m a late-night studier.  However, I am a firm believer that no one should study for seven hours straight; it’ll just burn you out.  I study for an hour at a time, no longer.  You’re most engaged your first hour, and afterward you’re just cramming.  So moderation and good timing is really my mantra.”

Ryan Opila, Freshman, Integrated Marketing and Communication

“I really like to study in groups. Asking other people questions about the material actually helps me learn better than answering questions. I usually only study the day before the final, maybe two days before if I’m worried about it. The key to studying for finals is reviewing the content throughout the semester. I reread notes from classes throughout the semester and then again while studying for the final. I spend a lot of time working on study guides to organize my notes, not so much so that I can refer to the study guide but so that I can review the material while putting it together. My favorite study spots are my bedroom, Muller Pond or along the south hill recreation path.  Getting a good night’s sleep is far more important than extra studying. Make sure you have everything that you need for your final ready the night before. Honestly, you shouldn’t need to study that much for your finals. If you pay attention throughout the semester and regularly review your notes, all you really need to do is go over the material once or twice and you should be ready to go. While studying, I like to think of how that information might appear in a question on the test.”

Jacob Greenberg, Junior, Philosophy

“I read all texts in advance and cram all essays into all-nighters the night before they’re due. My favorite spot is a secret. A finals studying tip is to consume some mental lubrication, whatever that means for the individual.”


Study hard, and good luck with final, Ithacans!

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