Study Tips for Finals

By Elena and Lily

With finals just around the corner, the stress levels are high and everyone’s wondering how they’re going to study. There might be a class you need to get your grade up for, or maybe you just need to make sure you maintain a grade. If you’re worried about studying for finals, here’s a list of tips for you!

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Take care of yourself

Yes, we know finals are stressful. Yes, we know you’re probably going to have some late nights and are going to have unhealthy habits. However, studying is going to be harder and less effective if you don’t take care of yourself.

Make sure you still eat. Make sure you hydrate. If you need to, set alarms for these. Your grade is not more important than your health.

If you’re getting tired, don’t push yourself too much. Get some sleep or take a nap. You need to have the energy to take the test, and you need to have the energy to study. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have any energy to use.

Focus your time

The good thing about finals is that you usually don’t have too many in one day. This means you can allocate your time better between the subjects, rather than cramming for everything in one night.

Spend time focusing on each individual subject. Don’t jump around between subjects, or you’ll just confuse yourself. 

Conversely, if you can no longer focus on one subject, you should switch to another subject, as you’ll likely be a bit more productive.

Make sure you keep focused and keep your studying focused. Don’t worry about studying what you know, but stay focused on what you don’t know as well, or don’t know at all. It’s not too late to learn at least some of that content, however you have to stay focused on studying what you need to study.

Cramming

Don’t cram, if you can at all help it. Yes, it’s sometimes inevitable, but it’s just going to stress you out more if you cram all the info into one night.


Try to start studying at least a week or two in advance, and review everything. If you cram, you’re less likely to actually learn the information and retain it all.

Start doing flashcards, start recopying your notes, start doing whatever you do to study prior to the week of finals or, even worse, the night before. You’ll just work yourself out too much and get burned out the night before the test–something you absolutely do not want!

Make a Plan

You know the classes you need to work on and the time you have, so make a plan. If you go about your days thinking you’ll eventually have time for studying, you may find yourself running out of time.

Make a spreadsheet, a list, however you like to organize. Figure out which hours you have and schedule your study time for each class to fit your needs. Don’t let yourself procrastinate and waver from your schedule. 


Schedule breaks! Do whatever you need!

You’ll find yourself more productive, more calm, and generally learning and studying more efficiently. 

Prioritize

Not all classes are created equal. Make sure to prioritize what classes you need the most work and study for them the most. If you have to choose between studying for your easy history class you have a 95 in and your difficult science class you have an 89 in. It’s pretty clear what you might want to take more time to study.

Make your schedule work for you. And that means scheduling your time to prioritize the classes where you need it most. And let your other classes have a little slack.

We each struggle in our own different subjects; and your grades all look different. You know yourself and you need to make the decision to take the time to prioritize the class you need. 

Know What Works for you

You’ve had a whole semester in these classes already so hopefully, by now you should know what works best for you to succeed in each test. Remember this is no different than a normal test; it just might have a little more material to cover. So studying should remain the same.

If you find that flashcards and memorization are really good for one class, study that way, instead of trying to study in a new way. If you find that practice problems are good for you, do that! Don’t switch it up because you’re stressed. You know your class and you know yourself. Do what’s best for you and you’ll have the best results!

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