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Things You Learn During Finals Week

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Maryland chapter.


Finals: the most dreaded time of the year – for college students that is. No matter what major you are in, it’s no doubt a stressful week. I asked a few of my friends about their finals week and have made some conclusions about finals.

  1. Tests can be hard in many different ways.

“The test is hard because I’m feeling pressure to do well, but it’s also something very boring to me, so I don’t feel as motivated to study, even though I need to do well so I don’t end up not knowing my future.” – David Burke, UMD Junior
It’s hard to keep track of all the information for one test, let alone for the final covering information from the entire course” – Rachel Bojarski, sophomore biology major

“The test that is hardest for me may be my ECON325 exam. Reason being is I don’t think I have a grasp on the material as I should be and it’s worth 35%-40% of my grade. Moreover, it’s covering the entire semester and the book isn’t the best book out there.” – Zacher Bayonne, senior economics major

“I know engineering majors have to do a lot of thinking outside the box but they also have to memorize. For example, when they’re given an application problem, they have to think logically – ok, how am I going to approach this… and then apply what they memorized to it.” – Marilyn Estoque, sophomore animal science major

  1.  Just because you don’t have tests does not mean you are not stressed.

This semester I was lucky enough to only have two actual finals to study for. But I also had three video projects and a few papers to write within that two weeks window.

My music major friends on the other hand had to do juries, which is where they perform in front of the music professors. These juries are their musical finals and for English majors – it was all about the papers.

Whether you’re working on projects or papers or practicing or studying, the last two weeks of a semester is definitely busy and stressful.

  1. Spend more time studying on less familiar material and use your exam schedule as an organizer

“Focus on the exams that take the most time and devote 3 hours tops to the easier exams the day before” – Bojarski

I prioritize for them by the exam schedule. I try to study for the first exams first.” – Bayonne

“I try to prioritize my time wisely by just planning what I’m going to do. For example, let’s say history is really weak. So I would write down to study for 3 hours on this day. Then maybe for Chem I don’t have to study AS hard so I would say maybe 2 hours on this day.” – Estoque.

  1. Write out your notes and seek out help.

Studying in groups is really helpful it uses all the different sense. If there is a difficult concept grasp, working in a group can make the concept easier to understand. Also explaining the information to others helps you reinforce it in your own mind and you can find out which sections you need to study more – if you have difficult explaining.

And don’t forget about asking the professor or TA. Most TAs hold review sessions a few days before the exam so that you can ask questions and clarifications on certain topics.

“To prepare myself, I’m going to the TA’s review sessions new week, and I’m going to study my notes thoroughly and find all the equations I need from the book.” – Patrick Benson, senior Computer Engineering major

  1. Take a breath, you will make it through!

I think it’s crazy spending almost all of your waking hours before finals week studying. I feel like that would be way too stressful. Most college students are in/barely out of their teens. We should not be that stressed. Otherwise, we’re all going to have at least one stroke by age 30.” – Burke

It’s important to remember that these finals are just that… finals… and soon they will be over. Failing them is not the end of the world and while it’s of course disappointing, after them you’ll be able to spend time with family and friends and relax.

So next time you’re feeling stressed, take a breath and imagine the fireplace and the holiday lights. Imagine sitting with your family and friends laughing. You just have to make it through these finals but don’t worry… you will. Every college student does.