Getting Through Your Final Exams

If you are like me and your college or university operates on a quarter system, then while some of your friends are at the beach, starting summer jobs and enjoying the beginning of summer, you’re trapped inside at the library or in your dorm room cramming for your exams or writing your final papers. While this can be one of the most stressful times of the year, several simple steps can help to lessen the stress and get you through your final weeks of school.

Be Aware of Distraction. Start Early.

 It’s always a good idea to start studying or preparing final research papers of projects as far in advance as possible. If you’re taking multiple classes in which you know a large project or paper will be due start it as soon as possible; this can mean all the difference when you’re trying to complete multiple projects at the same time. When you are working or studying its hard not to give in to distraction or procrastination. Set goals for yourself or try to stay away from areas where you’ll know you’ll be distracted.

Take Breaks

This might seem to contradict tip number one, but it’s important to take periodic breaks in order to keep up your energy and maintain your sanity. If you’re working on a twenty-page research paper, take a twenty-minute break every few hours to get a coffee or stretch your legs. Organizing your time like this can help you power through your study sessions without getting burnt out.

Utilize Your Support System

 Some people work best in groups. If you’re one of those people, study groups can be one of your best resources. Try to organize a group of friends from your class and set up a time to study to together. Many colleges and universities also offer great resources. If you’re worried about a final paper, head over to your university’s writing center and meet with a writing tutor to go over your writing with you. Some departments also offer subject tutors that are at your disposal. Lastly, don’t be afraid to reach out to your professors. Most of your professors are there to help you and want to see you succeed; some will even offer to look over paper outlines or lead study groups. Don’t be afraid to them with your questions.

Make a List/Stay Organized

It’s easy to lose track of all your assignments, due dates, and exam times amidst the chaos of finals. One way to avoid the confusion is to make a detailed list outlining everything you need to do and when you need to have it done. If you have a lot of studying to do, make a study schedule and try to stick to it. The desire to cross all those items off your list can be a great motivator.

Get Sleep/Take Care of Yourself

 When you’re really stressed and you feel as if you can’t possibly make a deadline of get in enough studying as you’ll need, one of your first instincts may be to pull an all-nighter.  While this may seem like the most logical way to get in as much study time as possible, it can actually be detrimental. You won’t be able to concentrate if you’re exhausted, especially if you have to sit for an exam early the next morning.  You will do your best work if you’re well rested. Make sure to take care of yourself and don’t rely on all-nighters as a study strategy.

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Brianna Low

Brianna Low

Brianna Low is a rising senior at DePaul University pursuing a double major in English and Spanish. Brianna enjoys reading, writing, and traveling. She currently works for DePaul's Art Department as a receptionist and hopes to one day work in a library. Brianna is happiest when surrounded by books.
Brianna Low

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