Welcome to Finals Week

By: Caia Bevins

Anyone who has survived finals week can tell you that it is an experience like no other. People you haven’t seen all semester except in the dining hall suddenly start popping up in the library and even make it to class, everyone is carrying around a cup of coffee while looking permanently exhausted, and office hours suddenly become a busy time for professors. It’s truly magical what can happen when one assignment is worth a third of your grade.
So, let’s talk strategy. You can’t make it through finals without some sort of plan, so how are you going to manage your time because all-nighters and seven shots of expresso per hour aren’t going to cut it? In fact, research has shown that it is better to go to sleep and take an exam on a well-rested brain than to stay up all night to study. One of the worst things you can do is not get enough sleep.
The first step to being successful during exam week is to check your exam schedule. If you’re not sure, here is a link to a PDF with all the dates and times: Microsoft Word – Final Exam Schedule Fall 2022 (defiance.edu). Put it on your calendar.

The next thing you need to do is prioritize studying for the earlier exams and schedule time to study for later exams later in the week. In a perfect world, you would have already studied and be relatively prepared for the exam because you took notes and went to class throughout the semester, so you shouldn’t have to cram too much. If not, make sure to pace yourself and take breaks. Giving your brain a chance to absorb the information you are reading will help you retain that information for the exam.

You can also choose to study with other people. Now, if you’re like me, you can’t study with other people because you won’t get anything done, but it can be useful if you want to test your knowledge or to see if you understand a concept. You can also keep each other on track and help each other focus.

Utilizing the quiet rooms in the library or finding a quiet place around campus to study is also a good way to get work done. In the end, just study whatever way you are most productive and stick to a schedule.

Finally, talk with your professors. Try and find out everything you can about the exam and prepare for it that way. When is your exam going to be taken? How long will you have to take it? Is the exam taken in class, or is it a take-home? Is it a written exam or multiple choice? Is there even going to be an exam? Some professors choose not to do an exam and instead assign a final paper that is due during finals week.

The bottom line is to make sure you know exactly what the exam is going to be so you can prepare yourself for it and budget your time. Exam week is stressful for everyone on campus, so make sure you are ready to meet the challenge with every advantage possible. Good luck!

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