Finals are here, but there’s no need to fear

Earlier this semester, I wrote an article about time management and shared some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned with you. Now, with finals looming around the corner, I’d like to share my approach to finals season, to help us avoid unneeded stress. 

Tip 1: Find out what time your finals are, and write it down.

There are several places where the finals schedule can be found. Check the college website or the professor’s syllabus to see what day your final is on, and then write it down in some sort of planner or to-do list. The visual reminder of what final you have on what day will help you better schedule your studying, as well as help to prepare yourself mentally for the test itself.

Tip 2: Know what to expect.

Every professor will approach a final exam differently. Some will only have a module or few chapters on the final; others will have it be cumulative. The last thing anyone wants to do is study the wrong material. As such, one of the most important things you can do to prepare for your final exam is to check the syllabus, or ask the professor directly, to know what to expect.

Tip 3: Make a study guide.

Once you know what material to expect on the final, put it all together into an easy-to-access study guide. Either in written form or in an online file, having all the information you need to study in one place takes the stress away from having to shuffle through hours’ worth of notes that you don’t need to focus on.

Tip 4: Don’t cram.

One of the biggest mistakes a student can make when studying for a final, or any test, is trying to cram everything they need to know into one night. Instead of cramming, try dividing the information into chunks and study a little bit for each final every day. It’s easier to tackle and remember what you’ve studied, when you focus on small pieces of information at a time.

Tip 5: Don’t neglect yourself; step away if needed.

Finals season is always a stressful time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and put too much pressure on yourself to prepare. One of the most important things to remember is to take care of yourself. No grade is worth sacrificing your mental or physical health.

As the school year comes to an end, and the much anticipated summer break approaches, finals week is the last hurdle most of us will face. The most important tip anyone can give is just to try your best. College is hard, and we should all be proud that we’ve made it through the year at all. So, as we close out this semester at Maryville College, stay calm, and finish strong.

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