Finals week is just around the corner. As we all know, finals week for college is one of the most stressful weeks of the year. In this post, I am going to chat with you about 10 top tips to help you get through finals week in college (with your sanity).
Finals week may look a tad bit different this year for most of us. If this is your first finals week for online classes, I promise it won’t be bad as it may seem!
How to Prepare For Online Final Exams
Create a study plan
When you are preparing for your online final exams, you want to go into it with a plan. Plans are a powerful roadmap to success and will help you stay on track.
How to make a study plan for finals
Step 1: Know exactly when your exams are
It is important to know what day and time your exams are taking place for each of your classes. Most larger schools have exam times that are different than your normal class time and days.
Step 2: Create a study schedule
Now that you know exactly when and where your final exams are, it’s time to make a study schedule.
Your study schedule will intertwine with your normal day to day schedule. Having a study schedule will help you keep yourself accountable for studying every day leading up to your exams.
I can’t count the number of times where I have found myself not studying for a class because I simply just had no idea what or when to study.
Step 3: Make a study guide for each class
Go through each of your classes and notes that you have taken and make an outline for the material that you need to study for your exam.
If your exam is cumulative (covers material from the entire semester), I have found that it can be EXTREMELY overwhelming going over the piles of notes that have been taken over the entire semester.
For me, when things get overwhelming, I tend to just put it to the side and not think about it which is obviously counterproductive.
To make things more manageable, go through each chapter that will be on the exam and make an outline of the most important topics that you need to go over.
After you have your outline, you can go to your notes and find the information and transfer it onto the study guide in a more concise way.
Pro tip: Write down EVERYTHING you need to know/do to prepare for your final exams. Keeping things in your head will only stress you out more and keep your mind from focusing on more important things.
Free Study Planner Printables
If you need help staying organized during finals week, I created FREE study planner printables to make things easier for you! You can download them below.
Start Studying AT LEAST 2 Weeks Before
For all of my last-minute procrastinators out there, I know that this may seem nearly impossible. But hear me out, you will thank me later (I promise).
I have gotten lucky a few semesters and had classes that didn’t have final exams or opted for group projects instead which SAVED me when it came to studying for exams.
But last semester, I was hit hard with every single one of my classes having a final exam.
If you are enrolled in full-time hours (12 or more), studying for 4-5 classes the week of an exam is not what you want to do.
Find a study place
Finding a designated study location that’s not your bed will increase your productivity more than you may think.
If you work well at home, try opting for a desk space in your room to spend your study time. You may also want to try working outside of your room in the kitchen/dining area if you still find yourself distracted in your room.
If you find that you don’t work well at home, finding a quiet coffee shop or your school library will be a perfect spot!
How to Stay Motivated During Finals Week
Study in intervals
Studying in intervals can do wonders for your productivity. I have a short attention span and tend to work better when I take breaks in between tasks.
If you also have trouble focusing for long periods, try studying in 45-minute intervals. For the last 15 minutes of the hour, you can dedicate it to rest/break time.
You will find yourself getting more done in the 45 minutes than you probably would working for 1 ½ -2 hours straight with no breaks. It seriously works wonders!
(This is known as the Pomodoro method if you want to read more about it!)
Study multiple subjects a day
Studying multiple subjects each day will help you to stay more focused rather than deep diving into one subject.
I don’t know about you, but for me, staring at math all day makes me want to pull my hair out!
As a rule of thumb, I like to study subjects that are opposite to each other in a day. For example, if I study math first, I will move on to English to give my brain a break from calculations and equations.
Another example of a combination that will work well is studying history and science on the same day.
Make to-do lists
To-do lists are going to save you during finals week if they aren’t already. Keeping track of your tasks from day to day is essential to making sure you are getting everything done every day.
All aspects of my life are run by to-do lists, I seriously don’t know how I would get through the day without them.
Last-Minute Study Tips (For When You’ve Procrastinated)
Flashcards will be your best friend
For definition and concept heavy exams, you want to be sure that you are utilizing flashcards to help you get through all of the material.
I don’t know what it is, but flashcards make it so much easier to memorize terms than just reading them over and over on a piece of paper.
I like to make separate stacks for each chapter to keep everything organized and so I can better understand the material that I know and need to keep working on.
Cut out the distractions
If you are easily distracted (like me) and are cramming the last minute before your finals, it will probably be better for you to avoid the study group sessions.
This will help prevent any unnecessary distractions to help you focus as much as possible to retain as much information as you can before your exam.
Work from least confident to most confident
When studying last minute for finals week, start studying the material that you are least confident in first so that you are able to spend as much time on that material as possible.
If you have time after you have worked through the material that you are least confident in, you can then move on to work on the things that you are most confident in!
Don’t Forget to Download Your Free Study Printables
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