OPINION: A college girl’s guide to finals week

Illustration+by+Wren+Johnson

Illustration by Wren Johnson

Finals are right around the corner. If you’re not prepared, you might be cutting it close. After all, you can’t cram all the information in at the last second, contrary to popular belief.

Using your time wisely is the most important thing to keep in mind. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself so set a reasonable pace.

To avoid the late night cram session, create a study schedule. Plan ahead of time and know which exam you’ll study for, for how long, and what you’re going to focus on.

Pulling an all nighter isn’t going to get you anywhere. If you don’t know the information before the night of the test, you aren’t going to learn anything new.

Be prepared and know when your finals are. Know what time they start if they are in person, or what time they’re due if you take it online. Studying just to miss the exam is pointless.

Know how and where you study best. I’ve talked about both study habits and spots before. To summarize it —find a way to study that works best for you, in a place that is comfortable.

Knowing the type of test you’ll be taking can help when studying. For instance, if it’s a multiple choice setup, you don’t need to be memorizing whole paragraphs. Instead, making flashcards and focusing on smaller bits of information can be the best study solution.

If you can, get together with a classmate and study with each other. Having to work with someone else can keep you accountable; you don’t want them to fail.

Remember, it’s okay to take breaks. There is such a thing as overworking yourself. Stop and take a breath every once in a while.

Along with that, you don’t want to study right up to the test. You can look over your notes or study guide right before the test, but don’t try to take in new information right before you start.

As someone who constantly relies on coffee and caffeine, I can confidently say that it is not going to help you prepare. Eat some food and get some sleep. I have also talked about the importance of sleep for your school work. When you get down to it, don’t pull an all-nighter; it won’t help.

You can’t go back in time, so if you didn’t go to class or take the notes, it’s probably too late now. If this is what happened, do better next semester.

Your notes aren’t everything, so being in class is also important, even in these final weeks. Sometimes professors don’t make the test word for word from the notes.

Whether you have been studying already, or are just getting started, remember not to stress. Take a deep breath because you will do fine. Finals week is stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.