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Final Exams: Study Tips

The school year is (thankfully) coming to a close. Of course, though we’re loathe to bring it up, there is one pesky event standing between you and the sweet, sweet freedom of summer vacation. Yup, you guessed it - finals week. And since these exams will likely affect your overall grade more than a regular test, it’s critical that you prepare. Here are a few study tips to help you get ready for the week:

Start early!

As you’re well aware, finals aren’t like an ordinary classroom test. They are an assessment of how much you gleaned over the year or semester. Therefore, the amount of information you’ll need to know (and review) is pretty significant. Cramming the night before the test won’t be sufficient. If you start several weeks ahead of the exam, you’ll have plenty of time to study everything. And you’ll certainly reduce your stress and anxiety.


Some finals might cover more material than others. Some exams might be worth a larger percent of your final grade. And some tests might prove to be more difficult for you than others. Take a moment to figure out which subjects will require more (or less) of your attention and then block out an appropriate amount of time for each.

Take a break!

Sure, you have a lot of ground to cover. And your parents might be continually nagging you to hit the books. However, don’t forget that it’s also important to step away every now and again. You can take a walk, play some music, dance around; it doesn’t matter. Regardless of how you spend your time, study breaks will allow you to recharge. When you return to your work, you’ll be focused, refreshed and ready to absorb more information.

Create flash cards!

Flash cards are the perfect study tool. After all, you begin to review the subject matter as you create them. They also make it easy for you to quiz yourself. And since they are portable, you’re able to bring them anywhere. You can even whip them out when you’re hanging with friends for an impromptu study date!

Avoid distractions!

We know it might be more fun to review the quadratic formula or chemical elements while streaming a podcast or a show on Netflix. However, it’s best to just find a quiet, comfortable space away from the computer (or television) where you can focus on your work. Trust us; you’ll be far more productive and you’ll retain a lot more information.

Make a study plan!

Don’t just randomly flip through your notes or jump around chapters in your textbook. Break down what you want to tackle and the order in which you should approach the material. This will help you organize the information and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Eat healthy snacks!

Studying takes a lot out of you and you’re bound to get hungry. But don’t reach for a candy bar or shove a handful of potato chips in your mouth. Instead, consider grabbing a piece of fruit, some cut up veggies or a bag of almonds. Healthy snacks will give you more of a boost, both mentally and physically.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Just because the year is almost over, it doesn’t mean you missed your chance to ask questions or receive clarification. In fact, if you’re struggling with a concept, now’s the time to ask your teacher for help! Don’t be nervous about approaching. He or she will likely be glad to assist you. And he/she will appreciate your diligence and hard work.

Go to bed at a reasonable hour!

We know, we know - you’re usually a night owl. And you’re most productive after 12:30 am. However, a good night’s sleep is vital if you want to perform to the best of your abilities. If you walk into an exam feeling groggy, you’re more likely to make careless mistakes and you might have trouble recalling information. Additionally, if you’re feeling sluggish, you could be more prone to experiencing stress. Therefore, do yourself a favor and get to bed!

Follow this advice and we have full confidence that you’ll knock your finals out of the (metaphorical) park! Good luck!


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Don Munce