How to Survive Finals Week in 3 Steps

There comes a time in every student’s life when they’re faced with the inevitable crunch of finals week.  That time of the year when the freedom of vacation has never seemed so close, yet so far.  That time to show what you’ve learned over the course of the semester.  A veritable judgement day, just stretched over a week.

Your typical final exam will make up a large percentage of your final grade, so it’s important that you are adequately prepared; you don’t want to squander a semester of hard work on one test.  Sounds easy enough, right?

Well, don’t forget you’ve got four or five of these in one week.  I remember my freshman year I had three final exams on one day.  While I can’t say I dealt with that situation effectively, I can say that I’ve since learned from that experience and know how to better handle finals week these days.  There are three key tips that you should keep in mind when the end of the semester comes around for you.

Start Early

Don’t procrastinate.

That sounds redundant but it really helps to start studying early.  This way you’ll be able to dedicate a sufficient amount of time to each class, and you’ll have time to ask professors any questions.  You’ll also be much less stressed during finals week

You never know how long studying for one final might take, and if you wait too long you might have to sacrifice studies in one class to cram for another.  That’s an all too common problem in college and it’s never a good position to be in.

Above all, managing time wisely and studying early is key to succeeding during your exams.

Find a Good Study Area

Consider this:  if studying is like driving, then consider finals week to be like rush hour.  Everyone is trying to get to same destination, that being good test grades in this case.  These dubious metaphors are to say that it’s a good idea to scope out potential study spots for finals week.

If you normally like studying at the library, you might be in for an unfortunate surprise when you walk in to find that about half of the student body had the same idea as you.

If the library doesn’t work out for you, consider some other options.  Studying in your own room can be a good idea, but it’s easy to feel a bit claustrophobic after a while.  A fresh environment can do wonders for your concentration.  There are likely to be classrooms left open as studying areas.  The student union is also a good place to study.  Those options aside, don’t be afraid to get out and explore.  You may find some quiet and isolated areas that could be perfect for studying!

Group Up

Having so many tests in such a short amount of time can be very overwhelming.  It’s a lot of material to cover, especially if some of your exams happen to be cumulative.

One of the best things you can do is form a study group with other people in your class.  In a group environment, every person brings their unique strengths, making collaboration a great way to gain a deeper understanding of class material.   It also makes studying go a lot quicker.

Be sure to find people who will do their fair share of work, you don’t want to end up giving valuable information to someone who is ill-prepared.  Group studying doesn’t have to make up your entire studying effort either.  You can study by yourself at first, and then bring what you know.  Or you could do a little before and after.  The possibilities are endless.

You want to end your semester on a high note.  Follow these tips to ensure that you have a successful and stress-free exam week.

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John Rademaker

John Rademaker

John Rademaker is a junior at the University of Dayton pursuing a degree in Electronic Media. At school he enjoys playing guitar, watching movies, and working at the campus radio station. Away from school he can be found exploring his hometown, spending time with his family, and listening to music.
John Rademaker

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