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

Final exams are a big part of being a university student. When some classes have a final exam worth 60% of your grade, it’s something to take seriously. Exams are fast approaching for this semester and it’s never too early to start thinking about them—especially with the exam schedule already being released. I’ve done a few exam seasons now, both online and in-person. And every time, I find myself overwhelmed by the sheer amount of content I need to know. There are some things that help me stay organized and ready and I’ll be sharing those!

Start Early

This is key. I like to start thinking about exams a couple of weeks or so before my first one. This gives me time to figure out my weaknesses and work on them. If I have a challenging class or an exam that I won’t have a lot of time to prepare for during the exam period, I’ll focus my attention on that. By starting early, you’ll give yourself time to make mistakes and figure out what works for you. It’s also a lot less stressful to do things in advance and you’ll feel like you have life figured out.

Make a schedule

Having a clear plan can take away the anxiety that comes from figuring out what to do next. Since there’s a lot of material to cover for exams, it can be overwhelming. Make a schedule or plan that details what you’ll work on. This way, you just have to get through your list instead of worrying about what to do next.


Now that you’ve finished setting up, all that is left to do is to study! Ideally, you would’ve been keeping up with material throughout the semester, but that can be difficult to do once you have midterms and deadlines. Since you’re starting early, this gives you plenty of time to review and study. 

Don’t stress

This is a hard thing—stress might almost feel like second nature at this point. It’s important to remember that you’re doing your best, and that’s all you can ask of yourself. Take things one step at a time, and believe in yourself. You can do it!

I hope this has been helpful in getting you started on thinking about and planning for exams! It can be a tough time, so remember to take plenty of breaks and look out for your physical and mental well-being during this time. Good luck!

Sally Adil

U Ottawa '25

Sally is a third year Biomedical Science student at uOttawa. When she's not studying, she's reading romcoms and watching k-dramas.