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Tips for Final Exam Preparation

Finals week can be the most stressful time for a student. Ensure you’re prepared for your exams with these study tips, which can help you conquer your finals.

Make a Plan

Write out the steps you need to take to prepare for your exams. Be specific. Small specific steps will allow you to see your progress and stay motivated. Estimate how much time you think it might take, then assign it a day to tackle it. Having clarity around what specifically you want to accomplish will allow you to be more strategic with your time

Find Your Space

Ask yourself where can you get in the zone? Do you need total silence ? Headphones to play your music or to cancel out background noise? Mussafer Hall’s Collaboration Space and interview rooms, Howie T, the Business School, the LBC, the A-Quad on a nice day, PJS, or an off campus coffee shop are great study locations. Read our blog posts on various study spots on and off-campus. 

Motivate Yourself

Pump up your music. Countdown how many days you have left until you are on summer break. Put a picture or motivational quote in your study space or set it as your phone background. Keep your self-talk positive. Do whatever you have to do to keep moving forward.

Avoid Distraction

Be honest with yourself about personal distractions, both external and internal, that you have. How does technology get in the way of your studying? Could you turn off your phone, put it on airplane mode, or download the “self control app”? Are your thoughts and emotions getting in the way? Write it all out, recognize how many thoughts are irrational, and then release it. Your cycle of dis-empowering thoughts, isn’t supporting you in your academic success. Make a clear plan and take the next small step in your plan.

Take Breaks (When Needed)

When you notice you can no longer focus – that means you need a break! Do something intentional (rather than sitting on your phone). Take deep breaths, walk, workout, call a friend, or go outside. Take care of your foundational needs. Eating and sleeping an appropriate amount is vital in order to show up as your best self. You may worry that sleep is a waste of time, but the brain is like a muscle. You don’t expect yourself to go to the gym for hours a time without a break. Don’t expect this from your brain.

Apply Your Learning Style

Audio, video, drawing, talking about it, drilling flashcards? Find a way to incorporate your learning style and strengths into your study session. Make your study session engaging and active, not passive. Re-listen to a lecture, watch a video on the concept, create a concept map, teach others, make a study guide, use flash cards, graphic organizers, work in groups, create a concept map, or predict test questions.

Seek Support

Who could you ask for help? Call a classmate, email the TA or professor a question, schedule a tutoring session or look for videos online to help. Be sure to check out the Student Success's Programs for finals and make note of on-campus opportunities to destress before and during that week.