College Finals Survival Guide

With the end of November and the fall semester lurking just around the corner, so are finals, but that just means that you are almost done allowing you to get some rest in a few weeks. When you add in the Coronavirus to finals season, life can get pretty stressful especially since many of you will probably be home surrounded by even more noise than you are on campus. So, if you want to slay your finals with as little stress as possible, grab your favorite winter drink, a snack, and sit back and read.

Tip 1: Plan, plan, plan

It’s time you dig out those syllabi. Many professors already have the date of your final on the syllabus. If not, you can look it up online by googling your school’s fall 2020 finals schedule. Mark down all your finals on the date and timeframe you will have to complete your finals. By marking out the whole final block on an hourly calendar spread, you will be able to see how long you have in between finals along with how much time you will have to finalize your studying for each class. Also mark down which finals are and are not cumulative. Every professor is different, so your final may be on a single chapter or on everything from the last three months. Knowing what chapters will be included will make your planning process easier.

Tip 2: Study 

As mentioned in the planning section, you want to make sure you know the chapters that will be included on the final. Once you know that information, you can plan out a study routine for all your finals. Start studying early so that you will be 1000 times less stressed come finals. Whether it is studying a whole chapter a day or even just a couple pages, you are working towards not having to cram up to an entire semester’s worth of notes into your brain at last minute. Our brains can only handle so much at any one time, so it is important to start your studying early. When creating your study plan, write down exactly what you are going to study and on what day you are going to study those topics. Do not worry about a set timeframe to study because life gets crazy, and it will be a lot harder to move blocks around than it is to just sit down and open up your textbook and notes in your spare time. However, you will want to make sure that you are deciding to study a reasonable amount based off your schedule. If you add too much for any one day, you are most likely going to fall behind or get discouraged that you didn’t study everything and then wind up pulling an all-nighter which is not the healthiest. Finally, do not be afraid to ask somebody for help if you are struggling to understand something. Chances are someone else is struggling with that very topic, but somebody is bound to understand. Utilize Facebook Campus if your school has it because at least one person on their was in your class.

Tip 3: Take breaks

Don’t be afraid to take breaks in between subjects or chapters. Taking breaks is one of the best things you can do for your brain. No matter what you do for your break, make sure you are feeling refreshed enough to jump right into the next topic. Some things you could do is some yoga to wake you up, do a little workout in your room, get a snack or some coffee, and even go for a walk. The possibilities are endless but do something that will relax your brain enough for you to feel ready to continue your studies.

Tip 4: Get a good night’s sleep the night before your final

We all know those tests where we stay up studying all night long and then you wind up failing because you got barely any sleep if you even did sleep and you can’t remember anything. Do not do that to yourself especially with finals. The fall semester has been crazy enough with schools deciding whether or not to stay open or even open up at all. Save yourself the added stress and get some decent sleep. Those 8am finals will thank you. If you struggle with falling asleep, there are so many apps that you can download for free on your phone that will help you fall asleep a lot easier. Most will tell you a story with a soothing voice and a calming background sound like rain. Click play, put your phone down, get comfy and let the sleep consume you.

Tip 5: Eat some brain food right before your final.

Make sure you eat a great breakfast or lunch right before you sit down to take your final. I will most likely be eating a breakfast sandwich and drinking a coffee to get my brain going in time for my finals. If I’m eating lunch right before a final, I’ll probably get in some protein and most likely an extra coffee. Whatever you eat, make sure it is fueling your body and mind so you can think clearly. Don’t be afraid to have your food or coffee with you when taking your final unless your professor is making you record your final and specifically stated you are not allowed food or drink.

Tip 6: Make sure your testing area is clutter free.

Admit it; you tend to get distracted if you are studying or working in a cluttered space. De-clutter your testing area shortly before you sit down for your final. De-cluttering right before your final will guarantee that your testing space will remain de-cluttered for the final. The only things I recommend to keeping in your testing are is a snack or drink, notes if it is open book and pencil, paper and a calculator if your class requires it. Only having these items on your desk or in your test area will have everything in an easy spot to grab and you will not be fishing through everything to find what you need.

Tip 7: Make sure everybody knows that you are testing.

This final step is probably the most crucial. The last thing you want when taking a final is to be interrupted to do something and then losing time on your final and potentially dropping your grade. If you can find a private space like your bedroom, that is perfect. Make sure your family or roommates know when your finals are so they can potentially not bother you. You can always hang up a sign on your door when you are taking your final and then remove it once you are done, and then hopefully nobody will open your door to disturb you.

Now go forth and slay your finals. If you follow these seven simple tips, you are bound to do incredible and remain 100% stress free as you tackle your finals. You have got everything in you to ace these finals, and now you have this survival guide at the tips of your fingers. I am sure that you will ace this semester, and then you will get to relax and not worry about these classes. Chances are your final grade will be put into the system with 24-48 hours from the time your final closes. Just think, after these finals you get some time to relax even if it is just a few days because you decided on winter classes, and that is okay.