Finals week is one of the most stressful times in a college student’s life. Whether you are a freshman or senior, the stress level are always high! Thankfully, there are a few things that you can do to overcome your next finals week. Here are ten of my best tips to get you started on the right foot!
1. Start preparing early
The best thing that you can do in order to overcome finals week is to begin preparing in advance. Often, the week before finals week is just as crazy as the week of finals. This is why having a plan can be extremely helpful! First, write out when each test is (date and time) into your planner. I would also suggest that you write in whether your final exams are cumulative or noncumulative. This will help you know what you will need to study. Then, I want you to gather all of your finals material (notes, handouts, highlighters, etc.) and make sure that that are all ready to go in one place! This way, you won’t have to go searching for them when finals get close!
2. Know what your finals will cover
Next, check your syllabus to determine whether your finals will be cumulative or noncumulative. If your syllabus doesn’t say, don’t hesitate to ask the professor in class. Then, use this information to your advantage. If the test is cumulative, gather all of your notes, previous quizzes, study guides, notecards, and old tests. If the test is noncumulative, get together only the most recent material.
3. Create a studying plan
Next, you need to create an in-depth studying plan. This is the only thing that will keep you sane during finals week. Start a week in advance before each test. Use your top three to five studying methods and break things down into easy to manage tasks. Breaking things down will help you to avoid overwhelm and procrastination since you will know exactly what to do and when. I do this by highlighting through my notes to find the most important material, creating notecards, memorizing notecards twenty-five at a time, and reviewing old tests and quizzes.
4. Study in small chunks not all at once
As I mentioned above, I want you to try to memorize the material in small chunks. This will help you memorize more effectively and avoid overwhelm. Give yourself specific studying tasks for each day so that you are going over the information regularly. Also, make sure that you take studying breaks! Things like working out, napping, taking a shower, reading, and watching Netflix are great examples!
5. Get enough rest
Another important part of overcoming finals week is to make sure that you get enough rest. All nighters are a big no no! Getting enough rest will help your brain retain information in long-term memory. It will also let you feel refreshed instead of adding more stress.
6. Study in a group
Another thing that you may find helpful during finals week is to study in a small group. However, I would suggest that you only do this after everyone has done their best to memorize the information on their own. Studying in a group will help you to review material so you can see what you actually know and don’t know. By doing this, you can also help each other find unique ways to memorize difficult information.
7. Have coffee handy
Uhm, yes please! Finals week coffee is a must, but don’t overdo it! I want you to limit yourself to two cups a day. If you drink too much you will be more anxious. I usually have one cup in the morning while I’m working on things to keep me energized. During finals week. I will sometimes have a second cup later that night when I’m getting tired to keep me motivated. The coffee reward system is also a great finals studying technique! I do this by saying, “Okay, if I study to this point I will reward myself with a cup of coffee!”. That way, I am more motivated to keep going! But remember, keep the coffee to a minimum! Any more than two cups and you may just be adding more and more stress!
8. Eat healthy food
This is an important but often overlooked part of overcoming finals week. Remember to start your day with breakfast. Eat energizing foods like fruit to help you keep going! No unhealthy snacking!
9. Take time to de-stress
This is another important but often overlooked part of succeeding during finals week. Stress levels are high during this time, and I don’t want you to get overwhelmed. This is why it is so important to give yourself a daily me-time! Having a me time will help you give your brain a break. It will also help you unwind and release some of that added stress. Things like reading a book, listening to a podcast, going for a run, or taking a nap, are all good examples! I know you may feel like you don’t have time for any of this during finals week, but trust me, it’s worth it!
10. Treat yo’self
Last but not least, in order to overcome finals week, you have to treat yo’self! Like I mentioned above, using coffee as motivation to study (especially for classes you hate) is a great way to do this! You can also treat yourself in other ways! You can do this by saying things like, “I can have ___ when I make it to this point in my notes”, or “If I get all but three right then I can take a break!”
I hope that these tips on how to overcome finals week help you succeed. I want you to do your best on finals this semester, and if you start using these tips then I am sure you will do great! I would strongly suggest that you sign up below to grab our printable studying schedule to help you make your finals week successful!
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