The “F” Word

That’s right. FINALS.


Finals will always be the hardest time of the semester for students because you have term papers to write, tests to study for, projects to create, speeches to memorize, Power Points to recite, the list is seemingly never ending!


Now, I certainly wish I could list off ways to make preparing for finals magically easier, but the truth is, Finals are no joke. A lot of hard work and commitment is required to be put into your Finals in order to pull out a good grade. But, as always, there are little snippets of personal experience that I can shed light on that will help you cut a few corners here and there and make the Finals process a little bit less stressful.


Eat Right, Sleep Good, & Take Breaks. Simple as that. Eating right gives you proper nutrients and brain power to focus on study those exam questions, sleeping good makes you a lot less stressed and maintain a proper schedule, and taking breaks gives your brain some leisure (because cramming for 9+ hours with no breaks over night with no sleep eating nothing but fast food isn’t healthy, believe it or not.)


Whatever you do, DON’T miss the review session. Interestingly, it seems like many of my fellow peers and my residents at Housing seem to think “review session” is synonymous with “Wow! No class, I learned all this already!” I think the exact opposite. I hear “review session” and think “Wow! A window into what the Final is going to look like!” And I am right about 99% of the time.


Pay Attention to How Professors Structure Their Class. If all the past tests have been multiple choice, more than likely, so will the final. So prepare accordingly. If there has always been two essay questions at the end of the tests or midterm, more than likely, so will the final. Time to put that essay thinking cap on! Also, listen to when the professor or TA say something along the lines of “This might be a good essay question on the Final.” That is, generally, a pretty good indicator to what the essay question on the Final is going to look like. Personally, I always highlight a giant neon star next to those notes.


During Finals, BREATHE. Before I start any final, verbal or written, I remember to take a giant deep breathe and calm down for 10 seconds before actually starting. If giving a speech, those 10 seconds give you enough time to feel a bit more comfortable in front of the audience instead of starting in a babbling mess due to your nerves. Same goes with a test. Take a breather before beginning and then dive in. Starting off calm actually helps your mental state.


Ultimately, the truth of the matter is most students find their own way how to deal with Finals that works for them. The above tips are merely tactics that work for me and ways I have found them to be most successful with my Finals schedule. The bottom line: Just try your best!