Survival Guide to Finals

By Taylor Hoff

Finals, the one word that every college student has learned to dread. As most of us have all seen the acronyms alluding to the fact that we’ve never learned any of the information, or more than likely turning into netflix and the black hole of procrastination. But, as a senior in college I have learned that finals are nothing to be terrified of.
While they can be intimidating, cramming a semester’s work of material into one whole week of studying, one exam, or one final paper, they are nothing to be terrified of. As a freshman I cried at the sight of the approaching date of my life science final exam but now I know that it is nothing to fret over. This is why I will give you my survival guide to finals.
1. Do not think of your final exam as “the exam” of the century. I’ve learned that if I stress over how important an exam is as defined by my syllabus, then I would not perform well. I’ve learned not to think of my final exam as a final exam but as any other exam, test, or quiz that I have had over the course of the semester. Take a deep breath and do not stress. Take studying one chapter at a time in small bursts of time or increments. Don’t try to study eight chapters the night before the exam. Break it up.
2. Don’t let finals week define your life. I know this sounds contradictory but it goes back to my previous tip. You will have a routine all semester long don’t deviate from it: if you would normally go to the gym for two hours than go to the gym, if you go out for sushi than go out for sushi. Carve out time in your day to study but don’t let studying define your day. It’s statistically proven that if you cram or study for hours on end you are less likely to retain information and perform well on the exam.
3. I’m going to sound like your mother here… Eat well-rounded meals before your exam. Try to eat things that are full of protein it is proven to increase memory. You will also want to make sure that your blood sugar is stable. If it’s not than you will get tired during your exam and will be less likely to concentrate on the exam and concentrate more on well… everything else.
4. Friends don’t let friends do poorly on their exams. Make a study party out of it. You will do better on your exams if you study in a group and put a fun twist on it. My friends and I use to make flash cards and quiz each other and even play charades with our course material. If you don’t make studying such a rigid dreaded experience than you will learn more.
5. Listen to a “pump up song” (Mine happens to be We Can’t Stop by Miley Cyrus). We all have that one song that makes us feel good when we are down or the song that pumps us up for our work out. So get pumped for your exam. Exude that positivity into your exam. When you are listening to that song think of nothing else than how happy that song makes you. If you listen to it right before your exam you will go into your exam knowing that you can kick butt, you are going to kick that exam’s butt.
These five major tips are what got me through my exams. I’m not saying that it will make the stress of finals disappear but it will make taking those exams just that much easier. Just remember to take a step back and BREATH. I hope that these tips bring you some comfort and most of all GOOD LUCK ON YOUR EXAMS!

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