5 Ways to Prepare for Finals

The semester is slowly winding down, and finals are nearly upon us. Even though we only have a little over a week left of classes, it might seem like the work is piling up way faster than it normally does. Between regular weekly work, final projects, papers, and assignments, the workload might seem unmanageable. It can be easy to get overwhelmed, but following these steps will help you finish your work and prepare for finals.


1. Keep Up with Assignments Before Finals

You likely have a few more assignments due before the semester is officially over. It might be tempting to slack off, but many last-minute assignments are connected to the material that might show up on a final exam or paper assignment. Losing focus now could make you less prepared for your finals. Plus, it’s always good to finish the semester out on a good note.


2. Start Planning Now

Know your due dates, when you plan to leave campus (if you’re leaving campus), which days you want to take exams, and so on. Including reading days, there are five days during finals period. To get the most out of those five days, it’s best to have a basic idea of how you want to spend them so nothing gets left until last minute. Without a plan, it’s easy to get distracted or procrastinate without the structure of daily classes to guide us. A plan can keep you accountable and on track.


3. Separate Assignments into Categories Based on Difficulty

We all have academic strengths and weaknesses. Some of us can write papers quickly and effortlessly, while others struggle. Some of us can easily understand complex equations, and others of us are completely intimidated by anything mathematical. If you have a variety of different final assignments, do them in order of their difficulty. Complete the difficult ones first, and save the easier assignments for later. That way you won’t waste your energy on easier projects early on during finals week.


4. Break Down Larger Assignments

Some assignments are going to take longer than a few hours to complete. Break these assignments down into smaller assignments to make them more manageable. The same concept can be applied to studying for exams. Don’t cram the night before you plan to take your exam. Instead, break the information down into smaller chunks to study over multiple days. You’ll feel less overwhelmed, and you’ll retain more information that way.


5. Schedule Time for Self-Care

It may seem like five days isn’t enough time, so you may be tempted to study and work at all hours of the day. However, there is plenty of time to get everything done. (And if you need more time, speak to your academic adviser as soon as possible to work out an alternate plan.) Overworking and neglecting yourself will only burn you out and lower the quality of your work. Block out specific times for meals, hygiene, and relaxation to ensure finals period goes by smoothly. If you aren’t sure what do to unwind, I recommend trying out some of the Alternatives to Meditation to help you relax and clear your mind!

Though this tends to be a very stressful time of year, just remember that it’s almost over. Following these steps will help guide you to success and make this time of year much more bearable. Good luck with finals!


Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

If you would like to write for Her Campus Mount Holyoke, or if you have any questions or comments for us, please email [email protected].