Finals season is stressful, especially if you’re facing it the first time. It’s the final test that can sometimes count for a ridiculous chunk of your grade, and just thinking of the amount of material from all your classes that you’ll be quizzed on within the span of a week can leave your head spinning. Here are some tips to help you prepare and take on those finals with confidence and assurance!
1. Don’t Panic
Take a deep breath and remember that finals are not your executioner. While they may count for a large part of your grade, there were still other assignments and tests that make up your score as well. Finals certainly play a large part, but instead of worrying about how badly they will affect your grade, focus more on studying and passing rather than panicking about the end result.
If you want to calculate your final grade for a class, there are many grade calculators online you can use to see the minimum score you need in order to receive a specific grade.
2. Handwrite Flashcards
Flashcards are a great study tool, and handwriting them is even better. Though typing is faster for most, studies show that you are more likely to retain information when you manually write it down. Take the most important sections of your notes and rewrite them, then when you have all your cards use them to quiz yourself at various points in the day.
Another reason why flashcards are great is that you can bring them with you in a purse or bag on the go, so you’re able to study no matter where you are!
3. Create a Study Schedule
You may feel like there’s too much to do and not enough hours in the day to get it all done. A schedule is a lifesaver for any college student. Write down times to study certain subjects and how long you will study them for, then stick to it. Seeing it all laid out before you will help reduce your stress since you have a guide to follow instead of trying to make it all up on the go.
If you’re not good at remembering or carrying planners around with you, then set alarms on your phone as a reminder. They’re a great way to help focus any wandering minds.
4. Organize a Group Session
Studying can be much more efficient and useful if you have more people around you. If you’re struggling with one lesson, chances are someone else has a great understanding of it. Studying in groups allows you and your classmates to improve each other’s weaknesses while reinforcing the material for everyone. Not only that, but it’s much less boring to review when you’re surrounded by friends instead of all alone.
5. Attend Office Hours
Professors and teaching assistants hold both review sessions and office hours, so be sure to attend them from the start. Your professor is the one teaching the course after all, and TAs are students who have taken and passed the course with a high score, so chances are they know what they’re talking about.
Visiting them with questions shows that you’re taking the course seriously, and you may even come out with a hint of what to expect on your exam, so don’t be afraid to ask for help and see your professor whenever possible.
6. Get a Good Amount Of Sleep
This is perhaps the most important tip of all. You hear stories and jokes about how college kids live off red bull and pizza while getting only three hours of sleep a week during finals season, but the reality is, this is the worst possible thing you could do to yourself. Your body and brain need rest in order to function properly and retain information, so if you were to pull consecutive all-nighters not only are you exhausting yourself but possibly harming your grade as well.
You won’t remember any information if you’re running on two hours of rest, and chances are you’ll have a harder time fighting sleep in your finals than remembering the chemical equation for oxytocin in organic chemistry.