8 Tips for a Low-Stress Finals Week

By Alyssa Laffitte on December 11, 2017

Finals week is approaching quickly! These next few days will involve lots of studying and lots of coffee. Here are some tips to make your finals week run smoothly.

Image via Isorepublic.com

Know where and when your finals are

An easy way to avoid stress is to know where and when your finals are. There’s nothing like scrambling to find your syllabus on finals day because you don’t remember if the final will be in room 101 or 102, or if it’s at 1 p.m. or 1:30. I would recommend keeping a list of all your finals, their dates, times, and locations. Bonus points if you keep this list on your phone, where it’ll be easy to find! This list will make sure you arrive at the right place and at the right time.

Follow any guidance your professors provide

Often, professors are nice enough to provide some sort of guidance on where you should focus your study efforts. They might give you a study guide, a practice test, or a simple list of concepts that you should know. Take advantage of this resource! The professor took the time to write out this information for you, and if they wrote the test, it is very likely that this guide was tailored to the test they wrote. At the end of the day, they will be the ones grading your test, so it’s best to know what they want you to know!

If they don’t have any of these guides, approach them after class or during office hours and ask them! (Don’t ask “What’s on the test?” as professors can’t tell you exactly what will be on the test. Instead, ask “How should I study for the test?”)

Solve a ton of practice problems

If you’re studying for a math-based class (like a math class, physics class, or a general chemistry class), problem-solving skills will be extremely important! Spend your study time solving a bunch of practice problems. The problems at the end of the chapter in your textbook are a good place to start. As you solve more problems, it will become second nature to you and it will be easy for you to reproduce these problem-solving methods during the test.

Make mind maps

I am a visual learner, so I love creating mind maps to help me visualize concepts. Flowcharts, outlines, Venn diagrams, and tables are great ways to visualize concepts. This is especially useful if you’re in a class that requires learning many processes and the relationships between these processes (for example, a physiology or a biology class).

Make one big study guide

If your exam will be cumulative (in other words, if it will cover everything you’ve studied since day one of the class), then it’s a good idea to create one big study guide. This study guide will not only help you review all that material, but even the process of making the study guide and going through all the lessons again will help make the information fresh in your mind and it will make it easier for you to recall during the test.

Make flashcards

There is a reason flashcards are such a popular study method. They work! If you’re in a class that requires lots of memorization (for example, a foreign language class where you need to learn vocabulary words or a chemistry class where you need to learn the names of chemical structures), flashcards are the way to go.

Do NOT cram

One of the worst things you can do when preparing for a test is cram. This is not the time to procrastinate until the last minute. Instead, study a little bit for two weeks every day before the test. This will make it easier for the information to stick in your brain.

Take care of your body

When I asked my chemistry professor how to prepare for the next test, he told me to not only solve many problems, but to get a good amount of sleep, too. He said that we don’t perform our best when we are sleep deprived, and I agree! So please take care of your body while you are studying for your finals.

Make sure you are hydrated, eating nutritious food, sleeping at least seven hours, and that you are not overly stressed. To help with staying hydrated, you can carry around a water bottle or use an app to track your water intake. Try to plan your meals and make them ahead of time so you don’t end up going to a fast food restaurant because you’re hungry and need food RIGHT NOW (we’ve all been there).

Finals week is known for being an extremely stressful time of the year, but with these tips, you can have an easy finals week and ace your tests. Good luck with your finals, and have a great winter break!

21, ISFJ. Biology student. College lifestyle blogger. Avid reader and writer. Dog lover. Nerd. Boyband enthusiast. Superhero in training. Here to help you become the best you can be!

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