How to prepare for finals week


Alivia Baker

Semester one finals are right around the corner, and there’s no need to stress with writer Frances English’s tips on how to prepare.

Frances English, Writer

Finals week, or, as many students know it, the most important and stressful week of the year, is right around the corner. With semester grades on the line and a neverending pile of topics to study, school can quickly become overwhelming and hard to manage. Now is the time to take control of the tests, find the right study tactics and learn how to minimize stress. 

Study in a favorable environment.

Although it may seem insignificant, choosing where to study can make a massive difference in academic performance. Everyone has their own comfort places that provide the right amount of stimulation to take in information. It’s also important to consider the noises in surrounding areas. Certain background music and sounds can help to deter one from their most efficient studying. Whether it’s going to a coffee shop, sitting at a particular desk or listening to classical music, the environment made for studying can be used as a tool to work more efficiently. 

Use the most efficient studying tactics.

The way that one decides to study and remember material can also affect how well information is taken in. The more memorable you make something, the better chance you have of remembering it. Whether it’s a math formula, an order of presidents or a list of literary symbols, creating a quick story of what is needed to remember will help them stay in your head — the weirder and more obscure the story, the better remembered. Think of Thomas Jefferson sitting on an elephant in your living room or Taylor Swift and Shakespeare debating about metaphors in Starbucks. Pick a way to study that is most helpful and will ensure that the time used to make notes is well-spent. From flashcards to writing color-coordinated Cornell notes, everyone has their favorite way to study that works the best for them. 

Take breaks and plan ahead of time.

Deciding to wait until the last minute to study can result in a lack of preparation and an unsatisfying grade. Look carefully at the schedule planned, especially for finals week, in order to map out what to focus on and what tests come first. Planning study time ahead will also help to manage a better sleep schedule and take hold of stress levels. Studying every night leading up to the final will guarantee that the information is well taken in and make finals week much easier. You may not be able to control the final exam, but you can control how to prepare for it.

Study with friends.

Making time for studying is important, but it’s easy to get distracted and can become repetitive quickly. Picking a time to study with friends makes the event more fun and very memorable. Studying together makes the time go by faster and going over topics with someone who might know more about the subject can help you gauge the class better. However, although mixing study time with friends is a great way to get stuff done, it can also get out of hand if the group is focused on something other than school. Make sure that you choose the right people that will have fun but will also get prepared for the test. 

Talk to teachers and use school resources.

Be bold and talk to teachers about the final, especially if you need more clarification on a specific subject. Go to their class during FIRE and ask them to assist in whatever may be challenging. Teachers are here to help; although sometimes their tough love might be hard to handle, they want the best for every student. Use additional school resources and research what the school offers through your counselor that might help you personally, such as online math tutoring. Take the challenges head-on and become the very best student that you can be. 

Plan something fun afterward.

After a challenging and oftentimes humbling week, having something exciting planned to reward yourself for working hard and to motivate yourself to try your best can be used as a helpful tool. Whether it’s an entertaining activity with your friends or treating yourself to a something special, having something enjoyable to rely on at the end of the week makes the sequence of events a lot smoother. 

Finals are difficult and handled differently for everyone. Instead of letting all the important tests fly by, take hold of the stress and make it as easy for you as possible. Specific tactics work better for different people, so find out what works best for you and take note of it. Knowing how to deal with finals will help anxiety levels — and your grade will thank you.

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