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Your Guide to Beating the Finals Week Frenzy

With finals week around the corner, many students are overwhelmed with research papers, projects, and last-minute studying that have been put off. For those who have rarely read their textbooks or “borrowed” math answers from friends, this time can bring much anxiety. However, good preparation will suffice, so here are some ways of doing so:

Get a Head-Start

Even students who are consistent in their work and study can find themselves lagging during finals. Professors will tell you that by working regularly, you can get plenty of sleep during finals. However, systemic work does not always guarantee smooth, academic sailing. The best way to ensure achieving your academic goals, especially in important classes will require a lot of reading. Reading, being so time-consuming, is difficult to catch up on last-minute. There are already so little hours in a day- even less during finals week.

Highlighting is found to be particularly helpful during study time- emphasizing specific sentences and text will help visually, when you need to return to certain passages and remember the most important details. However, if you end up highlighting every third sentence, you may not know exactly what is important. Even if you end up selling your neon-filled books at the end of the semester, it may be helpful for the next student.

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Considering the stress of finals week, students typically tone down their other concerns, and things such as eating too much, junk food especially, or skipping routine makeup, nice dress, or working out are not top priority. Tasks such as cleaning or laundry may not be options during this busy academic time. Focusing on course work, studying, and completing assignments worth large percentages of your final grade is the most important during this time period.

No Rest for the Studious

Realistically, you will have to pull an all-nighter at one point or at the least, stay up relatively late. Caffeine is a popular option in this case, accompanied by study guides. It’s advised you isolate yourself in a quiet environment to ensure the utmost concentration and focus. Whether it is in your room, the library, or the back of a coffee shop, distractions are limited in quiet places. Nowadays, group study sessions can involve too much talking, socializing, music, or other distractions which doesn’t help you in last-minute studying.

Self-created study guides are great study tools. Write down key facts, key formulas, key vocabulary words, odd exceptions, and so on. Creating the guides can be more useful than reviewing the material, since it requires concentration and time. This will be a good when reviewing five minutes before the exam.

Finals do not have to be so terrible if you make good head way and are thoroughly prepared. Study guides, carved study time, limited distractions, and semester-long work are ideal in reducing the anxieties of finals week. There is no way to avoid finals, so making sure you prepare in advance will set you up for success. Once in the study zone, you may even enjoy it.

Last Edited: July 2015

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