Getting Ready for Finals

We are only a few weeks away from the end of the semester and  I am sure you are finding Final Exams preperation stressful. Here are some tried and true ways to get ahead of the stress and have an amazing final push through the end of the semester.

Much of the stress this time of year comes from trying to fit necessary studying and classwork around fun things like family obligations, holiday events, and parties! To say ‘don’t worry, it will all work out’ just doesn’t work, it takes planning and preperation to make it through.

Here are a few suggestions:

1.) CREATE A PLAN AND WRITE IT DOWN! Write down when will you study, work, hang out with family, sleep, eat, and take breaks over the next couple weeks. All these things are important to your life balance and by planning things out and writing down your schedule, not only do you have a path to success; but you can share it with those close to you so they know your plans as well. There is nothing worse then having a plan but not sticking to it because friends or family pressures come up! There will always be last minute distractions, but if you can plan for 80% of your time the rest can be filled in by those last-minute events.

So why take the time to write your plan down? Have you ever gone to the store without a list? It takes more time to complete your shopping, you spend a lot more money than you anticipated, and finally you don't buy the healthy or long-lasting foods you nedd to get you through the week!

Planning and writing it down helps you stay on task and get exactly what you want without the extra energy, money or time spent! It may seem like work to actually plan out the next six weeks, but I challenge you – try it and see if it makes a difference.

2.) REDEDICATE TO STUDYING and CREATE A STUDY GROUP

By this time of the semester you are probably tired of taking notes, reading textbooks, looking at code or whatever study supplies you have collected over the last 7 weeks. We all start out strong with great dedication towards our learning, but over the weeks we find other things that seem to take over our time and our dedication. Now is the time to rededicate yourself to your studies. Find your notes, read the textbook, and ask questions, lots of questions.

Meet with your instructor! That is what they are there for. If they haven’t provided details about the final exam yet, then you need to ask! What will be covered? What is the format? What is the exam worth? What study suggestions does your instructor have? How are you doing in the class and how will the final impact your end grade? By knowing this now you will be able to study smart!

You may also want to check in with your campus tutoring center as they will most likely have additional people to assist in your understanding of your classes. Remember, not all classes are created equal so final exams will be different as well. Studying for a Calculus class is different than studying for an English or Foundations of Computer Science class so use your Tutoring Center to help you identify strategies for success for each.

One way to rededicate yourself is to create a study group. You are not alone in feeling overwhelmed or in need of some help, so gather a few others from your class and create a weekly study group to help each other get ready for the final exams. Remember, your teacher will most likely have given you a review packet or syllabus that has a list of what the final exam will cover so find it and review it together.

3.) REMEMBER TO BREATHE & TAKE A BREAK

So you have a study plan, are part of a study group, have reread your notes, have met with your professor; but have you remembered to breathe?

A successful final exam week includes good food, plenty of sleep and even a change of scenery! As we discussed earlier, part of your Written Plan should include time to play, sleep, walk, workout, or go to a movie. Things that take your mind off studying! We all need a break, so don’t feel bad about taking time for yourself. 

4.) STAY POSITIVE

You have done the best you can do, you have planned, and studied, and have created your success. Get a good night sleep the night before your exams, and remember to breathe. You’ve got this! Stay positive, relax, and let all the work you have completed so far lead you to success.