How to Study and Prepare for Finals Week
Last updated November 30, 2023
Welcome to finals week! While this can be a stressful time for students, there are ways to stay organized, minimize distractions, and be successful in your final exams, projects, and papers. Here are some tips for surviving and thriving during finals week!
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Prioritize your finals by date and difficulty
After you get your schedule for finals week, make sure to prioritize each exam or assignment by both date and difficulty. This will help you stay on top of each due date and maximize your time, spending less time on the subjects you are confident about, and more time spent on subjects you need to focus on a little more.
Reread your class syllabus
Use the syllabus from each class to outline your study sessions. This will help you create a thorough outline of the course content and evenly pace your study sessions rather than trying to cram or guess what will be on the exam.
Pull out your old quizzes, tests, and other assignments
Review your old assignments like previous quizzes and tests. These materials will help you go over content from the entire course while also showing you any previous incorrect answers. Use your study time or visit office hours to determine where you went wrong to avoid making the same mistakes on the final.
Create a study schedule (and include breaks)
Start studying well in advance of finals week and don't try to cram in the night before your finals! As tempting as it may sound, cramming is not productive. Your brain actually retains more information in shorter, more frequent study sessions especially in dedicated, distraction-free study spaces. A study schedule with meaningful breaks allows your brain time to process and store all the information you’ve been reviewing, before resting and starting again..
Get enough sleep
Trust us - your brain and body will thank you! While you sleep, your brain will sort through what you've studied to help you recall the information you need later. Staying up late may make you feel groggy the next day, reducing your focus and ultimately affecting your performance academically. .
Being hungry (or thirsty) during an exam can be a major distraction, so be sure you've had enough to eat and drink beforehand. If your brain and body haven’t had adequate food and water your most natural instincts will kick in, hunger and thirst, and you won’t be able to completely focus on the task at hand.