As finals week is quickly approaching, here are 7 tips to help you get organized and ace your exams.
(Gif from Alyssa Foote)
1. Plan ahead
Managing your study schedule a few weeks–or even days, before your finals can make a huge difference on the outcome of your exams. It is important not to cram before a final exam. Studying a few weeks ahead will help you absorb the information better and relieve extra stress during finals week. Putting reminders in your planner, or even alerts in your phone, can help you stick to a good study schedule for the coming weeks.
2. Go to office hours.
Meeting with a professor or TA is helpful if you are struggling in a class. Most often, professors can give helpful hints about what to focus on when studying and methods to study for the exam. These instructors are always willing to help so you should use them as much as possible!
3. Join a study group.
Joining a study group or even forming one of your own with a few friends can help you review class material more efficiently. Your friends or classmates might be able to explain a concept you had difficulty understanding and vice versa. These friends and classmates can also help to share good tips for studying and note-taking.
4. Don’t skip class.
The last two weeks of class are often the most stressful and most busy, but that doesn’t mean you should be skipping class. Oftentimes, professors hold review sessions during these weeks to inform students on the format of the exam and what the key concepts are. These review sessions can really help to give you an idea of how to prepare for the final and what kinds of questions will be on the exam.
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5. Find a study method that works for you.
Study guides can help to outline the main concepts that you’ve learned over the course of the semester onto a few pages. If you’re a visual learner, creating maps or diagrams can help to connect different ideas and concepts. Flashcards are also great for memorizing specific dates, definitions, or equations.
6. Prioritize studying.
Take time to evaluate your hardest exams. If you are struggling with a specific subject, it might be a good idea to schedule a little more time to focus on that exam.
7. Get some sleep.
If you are sleep-deprived during the week of your finals, all the time you spent studying will go to waste. Pulling an all-nighter will only hurt your exam score in the end. Lack of sleep makes it harder to focus and to remember important information. Make sure to be more strict with
yourself about your sleep schedule and make going to bed early a priority!
With the end of the semester coming to a close, there are a number of on-campus events and resources for students who need an extra push through these last few weeks. If you’d like to know more, you can find end of the semester resources here.