It’s that time of the semester, good ol’ finals week! Now why many of us dread this week, lets keep in mind that we all knew it was inevitably coming. That first week of class when your professor is walking you through the syllabus, that was your opportunity to highlight, circle, and underline that final exam date on your calendar. But your final exam date isn’t the only day you should have on your radar. Expect to have sleepless nights, high anxiety, and binge snacking the week before finals.
If you’re an overachiever than you probably already know these hacks, but if you’re the other 99% of average college students then you might find these study tips the Holy Grail to surviving finals week!
Make an Outline
Typically your final exam is cumulative of all the coursework from the beginning of the semester until now. Overwhelming much? We think so too, but the best way to beat this is by organization. Create an outline for every chapter, and list information in short bullet points. After you’re done, print out your outline and read through it. Use Post-It notes, and Post-It tabs to help you remember important points.
You won’t leave college without pulling at least one all-nighter and this usually takes place during finals week. Buying coffee all night can get pricey, while we love Starbucks, instant coffee can also get the job done. But coffee isn’t the only solution for caffeine; you can also drink tea, or Mountain Dew. Staying awake all night is beneficial if you remain productive, if you find yourself distracted or too tired to retain information, call it a night! Allow your mind to rest and reconvene studying in the morning.
Find Your Happy Place
Finding a space of comfort can mean isolation, quietness, soft music, or a study group for some. Whether you study in the library with friends or alone in your dorm room, it’s important that you find a space with no distractions. Look for inspiration around you! Write motivational quotes on a Post-It note and stick it on the wall in front of you. Soft music can also be soothing and help to set the tone for your study session. Spotify has great pre-made playlists that you can select based on your mood, that’s perfect for your happy place background music.
Hoard Food & Snacks
Food is your best friend when studying. Make sure you make that trip to the grocery store to rack up on all your favorite snacks. I know I’m not the only one that feels like a starving Third World child when I’m three chapters into reading for Astronomy class. Food delivery sites like GrubHub are clutch during finals week, since you’ll be spending breakfast, lunch and probably dinner too at your happy place. You can also use snacks to motivate you to finish reading a chapter. For example, place gummy bears sporadically on the textbook you’re reading; the trick is to not eat the gummy bear until you reach the paragraph that it’s placed on top of. This is the real life Hunger Games!
Don’t Miss the Final
Last but not least, if you stay up all night cramming, make sure you set an alarm hours before your exam so you don’t miss your final. While this seems quite bizarre, it happens! Set multiple alarms! It may even be a good idea to ask your roommate to knock on your bedroom door in the morning to make sure you’re up and functioning. There’s nothing worst than cramming all week for an exam, and missing it! A lot of professors consider tardiness inexcusable, so make sure you avoid this!
I hope these tips helped, and may the force be with you during finals week!