The semester is quickly coming to an end. If you aren’t stressed enough between the pandemic, a contentious election and the fact that the temperature has reached 60° F in November, buckle up, because finals are practically upon us. If you’re a freshman, or a non-traditional student and have never taken college finals before, don’t fret; here are six quick tips to help you survive the most dreaded week of every semester.
Know when and where your finals are. There’s nothing worse than showing up to a final on the wrong day or not showing up at all. Most professors put exam dates on their syllabus. Look them up now, write the dates down on a piece of paper and remember to set an alarm on the day of your test. Also, some exams may be in a different room than your normal class, so make sure you know ahead of time what building and room they’re in. If your exams are online, make sure you know exactly what time they’ll be open and close.
Use your resources. SmartyCats Tutoring is a great and affordable option if you’re struggling in class or just need study tips for upcoming exams. If your final is an essay instead, then check out the Writing Center — it’s completely free, and it never hurts to have a fresh set of eyes look over your paper. You can also try setting up study sessions in your dorm or with friends. Remember that it’s never a bad thing to ask for help.
Get enough sleep. Don’t pull an all-nighter the night before an exam or try to cram in a whole semester’s worth of information at midnight. Spread out your studying and make sure to hit the hay at a normal time. It sounds cliché, but trust me, nothing is better than a good night’s sleep.
Complete practice exams and study guides. Many professors will put these resources on D2L — do them. A lot of the time, they’ll pull questions directly from the study guides and practice tests, or very similar questions, for the final exam. Plus, it gives you a good sense of how questions will be worded and how the test will be laid out. It never hurts to be extra prepared.
Talk to your professors. If you’re studying and you come across anything that does not make sense, email your professor or attend their office hours. Your professors want you to succeed and are usually more than happy to help or just chat if you’re feeling stressed about the end of the semester. With online office hours this year, it’s never been easier. Just click a button and ask away.
Take a deep breath. Too much stress is not productive. If you find yourself getting too worked up, take a breather. Step back from your computer and give yourself time to relax, even for a minute. Remember that grades don’t define you as a person, and in the end, everything will be okay.