Finals week looks different for everyone. There are lots of nights at the library, many tears shed, more caffeine than our body can really handle, and lots of complaining.
I hate to break it to you, but there is no way to successfully prepare for finals week during that week or the weekend before. It takes time to make sure you are ready for these hard exams.
I have yet to procrastinate finals week and that has gotten me on Dean’s list every semester in college.
There is just no way your brain can retain a semester’s worth of information in a night. I’m sure there are some people that can and props to you, but most of us can’t.
I enjoy a good finals week meme as much as the next college student, but I sure wouldn’t want to be living it.
I’m here to give you all my tips on surviving finals week by preparing in advance.
How far in advance you should plan depends on the type of student you are and what your major is. What I’ve been doing that works for me (a business major) is starting to prepare a week and a half to 2 weeks in advance, depending on the courses I’m in.
So here are my finals week tips for you all…
1. Write down every final date, time, building, and room number
This is so important to do before finals week! At my college you can view all of this information online where they have every single final exam listed. I personally ask my professors because I feel more comfortable finding out all info about the final from them.
A couple weeks before finals your professors should have all of this information. If you find the info online or from another student, just double check with them! They will have any updates like if there is a last minute room or time change.
Put the final date, time, building, and room number in your planner or phone calendar. It’s so important to have this information where you will be looking constantly. You don’t want to miss an entire final!
2. Go to office hours to talk to your professor
Make use of office hours prior to finals week. Hopefully you’ve been doing this all semester because they hold office hours for a reason – it’s extremely helpful!
Even if you think you understand the material, just go ask them anything. Double check the date, make sure you know what chapters will be on the exam, ask if it’s all multiple choice or not.
Going to them with a couple questions will show that you are trying hard to do well. This will be beneficial when they are thinking about curving your grade. They might bump you up from a B+ to an A if you show initiative.
They might even tell you that they decided to take off some concepts or chapters from the exam. This has happened to me so many times. They won’t tell the class, but because I went in and asked what chapters are on the exam they told me they took some off.
Organize your desk, folders, notebooks
Before finals week begins make sure you have a clean and organized desk area. Along with that, make sure your folders and notebooks are organized too.
Having an organized desk will make you so much more productive. In an article written by Neil Patel, he talks about the benefits of a clean work space. Definitely give that article a read if you’re interested in finding out ways to organize your desk for success.
A good place to start is throwing out any old papers or trash, then make sure you have all your notes for your classes, and make sure your desktop is cleared off.
3. Fix your sleep schedule
If you have a great sleep schedule, then lucky you and you can move on to the next tip.
Ok, now that it’s all of us sleep deprived people here, it’s a must to getting more sleep for finals week.
I’ve been trying so hard lately to be asleep before midnight and up around 7am. My classes don’t start until 11am so it’s kinda unnecessary, but I want more time in the mornings for myself and my business. Anyway, enough about my sleep schedule.
There are so many benefits to getting a good night of sleep like improved recall, better problem solving skills, and learning enhancement.
Just by fixing your sleep schedule a week before finals week will help you so much with studying and retaining the information.
And please, please, please, DO NOT pull an all nighter. It’s so much worse than just looking over your notes for an hour or 2. Get sleep before your exams and thank me later.
4. Study effectively
Hopefully you know what the best method of studying is for you. Wether it’s Quizlet, index cards, re-reading the textbook, make sure you are studying effectively.
Some tips for effective studying are looking at old quizzes, exams, essays, readings, and other assignments.
Study in advance
If you study in advance you are more likely to retain information. The best way to study in advance is to set times that you are going to study for each class about 2 weeks ahead of time.
What I like to do is spend an hour at most study for each class, every other day for a week or 2. I know the struggle of having essays, group projects, and presentations leading up to finals week so it’s hard to study 2-3 weeks in advance because there is already so much else to do.
I hope these tips help you study for finals. If you use most of these study tips you should do really well on your finals.
Remember to take care of yourself and not stress too much. Good luck on finals!