We all knew it was coming, it was inevitable. All of a sudden the Starbucks line has doubled and a girl in the library just screamed at the top of her lungs and threw her notecards down and walked out. Yep, its finals week. The week that either makes us or breaks us, and there’s usually no in-between. You either know the material, or you won’t, it’s that simple, but finals week is survivable! You just have to figure out the process of success that works for you. Here is the process that worked for me and ended up getting me a 3.8 GPA my first semester of college.
Organize Your Work Load
You’re probably going to have more than just one final, possibly up to five or six depending on your schedule, and some are going to need more tedious studying than others. Start by listing your finals and the dates they’re on and work from there. Start by asking these questions to yourself: Which final is going to be the hardest? The easiest? Which final has the most material that you need to cover? Which final is the soonest? The latest?
Once you figure out the most important finals you need to study for, the easier it will be to make your study schedule for the week.
Rent a Study Room (IN ADVANCE TO FINALS WEEK)
Study rooms in the library were the link to my success during finals week. They’re little private rooms you can rent out for yourself or for your study group for free, complete with a big whiteboard enough table space for a small army. Since there aren’t many distractions, I got so much work done in these rooms, but you have to book them fast! I suggest booking them two weeks in advance because during finals week it’s near impossible to get one.
For more help on preparing for studying in the library, read my article on How To Prepare For Your Next Library Study Binge.
Create a Study Group
I don’t think I could’ve passed my dreadful astronomy class without my study group. A bunch of girls that sat around me were all struggling with this class, so we banded together and started studying every Sunday evening. We would talk about the material and things we didn’t quite understand, and nine times out of ten, someone would know the answer to one of our questions; and if we didn’t, we’d look the answer up together. My study group made preparing for finals so much fun, and helped me pass the test I took, including the final which gave me a B in the class!
Move Your Finals
Yep, that’s right, you can move your finals to a different day! At Missouri State’s Campus, their policy states that if you have three or more finals in one day you have the opportunity to move them around to your liking. After looking at my schedule I realized I had my three toughest finals all on the same day back to back. After discussing my problem with one of my professors, she gave me the chance to move final a day earlier so I wouldn’t be so overwhelmed. I was able to study much more efficiently and I didn’t have to worry about trying to manage my time with studying. If your college has this option, I highly recommend taking advantage of it.
Look Over Old Tests or Quizzes
In one of my classes, I quickly learned that my professor liked to take the questions from the quizzes we took in class and sneak them into the exams. Those are easy points! I would examine each quiz before I took the test, and twenty-five percent of the points on that test were questions I had already seen before on the quizzes. Not every professor is going to do this, but for the ones that do, don’t forget to keep those tests/quizzes after you take them, you may need them later.
Leave Your Dorm Room
Even if you usually do homework in your dorm room or have studied successfully there before, studying for finals is different. Your dorm room where you live, and where possibly others live as well. Distractions are bound to happen, and I know from experience. If my other roommates are home, I’m bound to be hanging out with them or getting distracted by a long lost trinket I’ve suddenly dug up and found under my bed or in my closet. Try to study someplace away from others where there are fewer distractions and more time for getting work done.
For other locations on where to study, read my article 10 Great Places To Study That Aren’t Your Bedroom
Do What Your Professors Tell You To
This seems like a very strange one, but who knows your test better than the person who made it? It never hurts to ask about what’s going to be on the test or what they recommend you to study. My professors were always delighted to tell me and would sometimes just tell me what the questions topics were. This really helped me in several of my classes, and my professors really admired me for taking the initiative to ask.
For more ways to utilize your professors, read my article on Taking Advantage of Your Professor’s Office Hours
Finals week is the most stressful time of the school year, don’t be afraid to step away from studying and chill out. Watch a few episodes of your favorite show or go get some ice cream with your roommates from the dining hall. Studying too much can make a person go crazy, so don’t be afraid to take a break if you need one.
And that’s how I did it! By using these methods, I ended up getting all A’s and one B my first semester at college. Not bad, don’t you think? These methods worked for me, but everyone is different! The most important thing is that you find methods that work for you, and maybe next semester finals will be a little easier to handle!