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Finals Season: A 5-Step Guide to Survive Exam Storms

During The Season, we’re students drinking coffee, studying like crazy, and running around like lost puppies.

Image: Monstra/Pexels

Finals season. During The Season, we’re students drinking coffee, studying like crazy, and running around like lost puppies.

Each semester around the end, usually 1-2 weeks, can be stressful. Students start generally feeling and preparing for the worst stressful time a month ahead. Even though the exam storms begin to take over, it doesn’t mean you should get swamped. There are many steps to avoid burning yourself during Finals season.

Step 1: Have a Plan set up ahead of time

Most students are already on a set schedule for classes and extracurricular activities for the semester. However, a schedule may be scheduled. Students must rearrange a new schedule just for exams. Exam schedules are usually the last week of the semester. Most colleges already have an exam schedule set up. Students should look at their classes’ exam dates to ensure they can take them. If one of your exams falls on the same day as an exam, please be sure to ask the professor to take it another day. Students should only take 1 or 2 exams in one day. It is not wise to have three exams scheduled on the same day for your brain.

Students studying in a study group. Image via Shuttershock by Yuri A.

Step 2: Study, study, study!

As the semester ends, studying should already be known to do each week before an exam. The study is a crucial component of passing an exam. Most students have different forms of studying. Students can create study groups where they can practice with friends in the class on specific subjects. Study groups are an excellent way to help each other with whatever topics in the course they are struggling with. Flash cards are another way of studying. Reading aloud and writing down on cards is an excellent way for the brain to process information. Lastly, memorizing notes is not the best way to study, but some students study this way for some classes. Remembering notes can help students who are known to learn by seeing them in class and writing down letters. Yet, some students will have professors who say this is not the best way, so review the study guides.

Step 3: Check Grades; Meet with Professor

Final exams should be a time to only focus on exams. However, sometimes the exam might be the only thing to save your exam. If you have a low grade, schedule a meeting with your professor ahead of time. Once in a meeting with the professor, discuss options to bring up your status. If the professor doesn’t offer bonus points, focus on studying and refer to other classmates in the class. Go to the local tutoring center to get help as well. 

Image via Shutterstock (Andreassolbakken)

Step 4: Do not Panic! Do not Cram!

Don’t cram. Cramming is the worst thing to do; that won’t help your retention. Students should start studying around four days before the exam. For example,  I glance over my notes once or twice on the first day; the second day before the exam, I study aloud in my room a couple of times, the third day, I find a friend who needs help, and we quiz each other back and forth. On the very last day and day of the exam, I glance and rest my brain.  If a student is cramming, and studying on the day before the exam can overwhelm you and your brain. So please don’t panic or apply too much pressure to the exam.

Step 5:Get plenty of rest for the Brain

Resting is a critical component of final exam preparation. Students must get at least 7-8 hours of sleep the night before the exam. Eat food, and not just cakes and coffee. Students must stay hydrated and alert. If non-traditional students have to work, plan to take those days off ahead of time if you can. If you can not, work on a reasonable amount of time in a schedule that would not overwhelm your workload. Students who work should manage time to avoid pressure and stress during exams. As overwhelmed and stressed, students can sometimes struggle more on exams.

Image via Shutterstock/Pexels

As a university student, you will do great on your exams, be prepared and study.

Good luck with your exams as this fall semester comes to a close near you.

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