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How to Study & Prepare for Finals Week

Last updated April 22, 2024

Welcome to finals week! While this can be a stressful time for college students, there are ways to stay organized, minimize distractions, and succeed in your final exams. We'll show you how to study and prepare for finals week!

Three college aged students sit on a couch in the library in front of open textbooks - How to Study & Prepare for Finals Week

Prioritize your finals by date and difficulty

After you get your schedule for finals week, 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, quizzes, and tests. These materials will help you go over content from the entire course while 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 your final exam. 

Create a study schedule (and include breaks)

Start studying well in advance of finals week and avoid cramming the night before! 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 gives your brain time to process and store all the information you’ve been reviewing, before resting and starting again.

Get enough sleep

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 on your exam.

Eat and drink water

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, you may not be able to completely focus on your exams.

Still need help studying or working through test anxiety? Text #Hello to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!

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