Tips For Surviving Finals

Jenny Brotherton, Staff Writer

Finals. Typically a dreadful word for any student; and if you’re like most students, your studying habits probably include either cramming, procrastinating, or some combination of both. Being tested on everything you’ve learned in a class can be stressful, but here are some tips and tricks to help you through it.

One of the first things to remember is you are not alone! It can be comforting to know that there are plenty of other students going through the exact same frantic worry as you. Regardless of the classes you’re taking, the grades you have, or your studying skills, you aren’t the only one who’s nervous. Here are some tips to help you in finals week at Helix.

1)Practice Time Management

A major  problem that many students have is time management. In order to be prepared, you have to make sure you set aside time to complete different tasks. Planning out when to study can be difficult if you’re not used to a routine. However, whether it’s college or high school, lower classmen or upperclassmen, organizing your time is crucial. Having a specific task at a certain time helps you actually finish the task, rather than “planning” for some general point in the future.

Shaniese Alston, student and author for The State University of New York blog, advises, “Study in intervals! Studying in 20-50 minute increments and giving yourself 5-10 minutes in between is more beneficial than cramming.  Distributing learning over time typically benefits long-term retention more than a short period.”

   2) Relax

Relaxing may not seem vital to surviving finals, but it is a huge step in the right direction.Rest is just as important as studying. It’s more than getting lots of sleep; it’s also about giving yourself time to destress. Make sure you do activities that help you relax and temporarily forget about your responsibilities. You should be able to zone out from the chaos around you and give your brain a break. Whether it’s listening to music, going for a walk, or watching a movie find an activity that will calm your nerves. Here is a link to 40 tips for relaxing if you’re having trouble

 3) Finding What Works For You

Studying is no good if you don’t know how to do it. Overall there’s no wrong or right way to study. Find what habits work best for you. Personally, I do well when I make practice quizzes for myself. What works for one person might not work for another, but don’t expect to accomplish much by just staring at your notes. Do you work better in a study group or alone? Do flashcards help? You can highlight key things you know will be on the test, or create study games that will help you absorb the information.

Not everyone realizes how many different study methods are out there, but keep in mind that studying can be more than opening a textbook. Veritas Prep, a private graduate school in La Jolla, suggests making and using study guides. They even have a PDF on their website that helps with this, and aids in organizing your study methods.  

 4) Prioritize Sort out what your priorities are. What final takes the largest percentage of your grade? What subject are you behind in? Which one are you confident in? What day is each exam on? Knowing what class needs extra attention  and what class doesn’t can make all the difference. You might be more knowledgeable in one subject and less knowledgeable in another. “It’s a mistake to consider all of your finals equal if you’re materially better at one subject than another,” Colin Gruenwald,of Kaplan Test Prep, told Teen Vogue.

  5) Be Confident On Test Day

It sounds cheesy, but believing in yourself and your capability will help your mindset. Thinking in a positive manner will make you feel better about taking the test, and calm your nerves. If you’re worried about one section or one exam, focus on the things you know. Remind yourself of your strengths and the material that you feel confident about. Instead of dreading the tests ahead of you, focus on what you are doing in the moment and try to enlighten yourself with positive thinking.