Anna Schultz-Girl On Computer With Notebooks

Top Tips to Prepare for Finals During Lockdown

  1. 1.  Consider the Pass/Fail options

    Virginia Tech has very graciously offered students the ability to CC, CD, or CN their courses this semester with no penalty to their GPA, so do not feel guilty if you feel it is in your best interest to use one of these options. You may not actively feel stressed, but you probably are. With the abrupt change to online learning, the stay-at-home orders, and every other facet of life affected by the coronavirus, there are more important things to worry about than a few tests. COVID-19 has shaken up everybody’s lives, and no one will judge if you take your mental health into consideration. Do what is best for you.

  2. 2. Routine

    There is power in routine. Humans are creatures of habit, so go to bed at a normal time and eat 3 (hopefully nutritious) meals a day. Your body and mind will thank you if you start going to sleep earlier than 4 AM. Set aside specific times of the day to be productive. Time feels irrelevant and nonexistent when you're forced to stay at home, but finals are real and less than a week away. Get yourself together and study a few hours a day. Hold yourself accountable.

    remote control turning on the tv
  3. 3. Take breaks

    Part of preparing for finals is staying sane. Do not study all day and all night for a week straight; it is not worth your health. Step away from the computer screen and take a second to breathe. Go for a walk, facetime a friend, or bake something. Do something that doesn’t exert a lot of brain power. Do something that makes you happy.

  4. 4. Condense notes, then condense again

    Make sure you study in the most effective way for you. If you don’t know how to study effectively, start with this method: take your notes from this semester, and condense them into a 2-page, handwritten “cheat-sheet,” then take that cheat-sheet and condense that into a 1-page cheat-sheet. Writing out your notes multiple times on to paper will help with cementing that knowledge. If you have not taken notes all semester, this is not the time to read the entire textbook. Look at class power-points, look at the review slides for previous exams, and do practice problems. Familiarize yourself with the types of problems that will be on the exams.

  5. 5. Act like this is a normal finals week

    Go into the week knowing where you stand in the class, what material you need to work on, and when you’re going to take your exams. Sometimes it’s hard to remember where you stand in an online class, but you still need to pass. Know the grades you need to get to help guide your studying. This is also the time to figure out when and where you are going to take the exam. Choose a place that is out of the way, so you don’t have siblings or parents walking in. And inform your housemates of when you are taking your exams, so they know to be quiet during this time. If your teacher has opened up the exam to be taken at any time, do not leave it until the last minute.

    "you got this" on a letter board
  6. 6. Understand you are more than a test grade

    Last semester, I had a professor who, for each exam, would have the first question read “True or false, I am more than a test grade and I should not let it define you I am.” Yes, it was a nice (and much needed) bonus point to get on each exam, but, mostly, it was a nice reminder that my grades are just a sliver of who I am. I shouldn’t lose sight of the bigger picture. You have all taken finals, and you know what to do. Do not hyperfocus on studying, but don’t blow it off either. Take it one exam at a time and don’t overextend yourself. Good luck, you all will do great!