Finals Tips + Tricks


Finals season has arrived. It's almost bittersweet — happy to see the end of the semester, but finals can be stressful. This round of tests was my fourth set of finals in college (that is scary in and of itself — how does time fly so fast?). So, I thought I would share a few tips that have helped me when studying for finals. I hope you find these ideas helpful. I'd love to hear any tips you have too!

Make a Plan
Preparing for finals in college is different from high school because you sometimes have days before the exams with nothing to do but study. It can be challenging to figure out how to best use this time. I've found that creating a schedule for myself to tackle the workload helps me use my time efficiently. This schedule does not need to be rigid, but mapping out how you will spend time ensures that you'll be able to cover all necessary material in a productive way. No late night cram sessions will help you better comprehend and review the material and use your time before the test efficiently. Plus, if you want to study with a group or classmate, you will be more aware of how much time you can allocate to working with others.

Have a Bedtime
This sounds silly, but it can be so easy to stay up very late studying for exams. I am not the best at maintaining a bedtime during the school year, but I do try to go to bed at a good hour during finals week. With a solid night's sleep, I will not be overtired and can study the material when I most awake. A full 8 hours of sleep can do a world of wonders.

Find a Study Spot
During finals week I spend hours at the library. I have a spot that I like on the quietest floor, and I am most productive tucked away in this nook. I recommend finding a place where you will not be distracted and can focus on studying. This looks different for everyone, but it's important to know where you can be most productive. I also like to change it up and work at Starbucks during the morning, but head to the library in the afternoon and evening. A little variety in my surroundings helps to keep me motivated.

Pack Your Backpack Well
There's nothing worse than getting to the library and realizing you don't have your textbook or computer charger. Before heading out to study, I always go through my backpack and make sure I have any materials I will need. Don't forget items like your phone charger and some snacks! If you do forget a cord or cable, check with your library they may be able to loan or rent you one, saving you precious time from returning to your dorm or apartment to retrieve it.

Work Breaks into Your Schedule
It is so important to study, but I also need a break here and there. I actually put some breaks in my schedule. I've learned you will be more focused if you occasionally allow some time for yourself. Whether that's scrolling through social media or going to grab a coffee, your brain will appreciate the break! Or if a friend asks to get an ice cream or take a walk, you will enjoy a little down time and it can help you be more productive when you return to studying. It is equally important to be careful not to take too long of a break. I like to make sure I set a time limit for myself so I don't waste an hour on Instagram, haha.

I wish you the best of luck on finals and hope that these tips are helpful! What are your keys to success during finals week?

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