How to ace your finals: five tips for freshmen

Karie Portillo

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Considering the fact that I am a senior and I have been through finals many times, I decided to take the liberty to come up with five tips for freshmen to survive their first high school finals.

Get plenty of sleep!

It is understandable that you may want to stay up studying until the last possible second before your eyes are too tired to read any text in front of you, but don’t do it! It is a widely known fact that getting plenty of sleep is crucial to a student’s performance in every aspect, not only does sleep allow one’s mind the chance to rest and “recharge”, but it also helps relax the mind from all the stress and studying. Another huge reason for loss of sleep are phones and social networking sites, so if you want to do well on your final try not having a tab with your profile open on your computer and avoid texting.

Songs and rhymes work.

Memorizing formulas and names can be difficult and although it seems dumb, making up a rhyme or a song to help you memorize important dates, names, etc. is effective. Try picking a familiar tune to a song you know and replace the words with whatever you’re studying; this makes it easier to remember because one can constantly sing the tune in their head. Many students find this method useful for remembering various processes for biology, tricky math formulas, and important names and dates for history.

Don’t wait until the last minute to study.

Waiting until the night before to study is a bad idea, especially for honors courses. Last minute reviewing and skimming of chapters will not prepare you enough. Try to study for a certain amount of time over a span of a couple of days rather than try to cram everything you need to know in your head the night before. Procrastination is your enemy! Waiting until the last moment will stress you out more than you would have stressed in the first place. The more you procrastinate, the more it becomes a habit, so it is best to not dip your toes in the pool of last minute studying anxiety.

Study guides are your best friend

If a teacher provides a study guide for the final, do it! Most of the time a lot of what is on the study guide is also on the final. The final may even have some of the same questions asked on the study guide just to reward those who completed it. It is also important to know that relying on only a study guide is not the best idea. It is a good choice to review notes you took throughout the semester and tests taken in the past as well. When looking back to past tests make sure to focus on questions you got wrong and work on getting them right, chances are the same kind of questions that were on chapter tests will also be on the final.  

Try not to stress.

It is easier said than done, but stressing over finals can affect your performance on the finals themselves as well as your relationships with others during that time. Stress makes life a lot more difficult than it needs to be for students because we spend so much time worrying and all that worrying affects our attitudes. Stressing yourself out too much will not help you on your final. The time you waste in worrying about how the final will affect your overall grade in the class will only psyche you out. Stress will also make it impossible to concentrate on the subject at hand. It is better to just relax and study enough to feel confident that you know all you need to know and do your best.

The first finals week of high school is anything but easy, but hopefully these five tips will help guide you through finals week. It is important to care about school and finals, but not to the point where you are affecting your health negatively from lack of sleep and over-stressing your mind.

 

  

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