I remember my first finals week being terrible. Like, actually awful. I would pull all nighters, eat terribly, and wasn’t all around more productive at all. Now that I’m a senior (I just applied for Graduation today!) I am currently going into my 7th finals week of my college career – almost 2 months of my life has been spent taking tests. I’ve found a few things that work really well for me to ace those finals every time (sometimes B’s, but hey B’s get degrees right?) and some of them are things you’re probably already doing – or trying to 🙂
1 – Have healthy snacks nearby
I know that the oreos and pizza are all thats available on campus but eating healthy meals and snacks during finals helps a lot. You will be surprised how much better you feel when you’re feeding your body fruits and veggies while studying and you’ll avoid the resulting food coma as well. It’s a win-win right?
2 – Get enough sleep
All nighters? No more! You may think that you’re going to retain all the information that you are cramming the night before an exam, but you aren’t. You’ll probably do worse on the exam if you don’t sleep rather than
3 – Drink lots of water
When you are studying all day you most likely won’t be drinking a lot of water. I try to drink a glass of water every 2 hours to keep my hydration on track. I even got an app that reminds me to stay hydrated!
4 – Study somewhere you can focus
I can kinda study at my house, but I get distracted by my dog pretty easily. During finals I study exclusively at the library or in one of the buildings on my campus and find that I’m much more productive. I do know how hard it is to find a spot in the library with a power outlet though, and sometimes it’s better to go to a coffee shop and study there instead of fighting for that seat in the lib.
5 – Review material for your exams daily
Don’t wait until the day before your exam to study everything you’ve learned the past semester. I know it’s tempting to use those extra days between finals to watch Netflix and relax but you will be so much happier that you’ve been reviewing the material very day when it comes time to take your exam.
6 – Take advantage of reading day / week
My school started a reading day this year – they finally caught on after 150 years. Everyone on my campus is super excited to have a day before finals start to get their act together, but don’t waste it! I know a lot of Sororities and Fraternities love to have formals that night but if you have a final the next morning, it’s probably best to sit this one out. You’re not going to get up early and study, no matter how much you think you will.
7 – Wear comfortable clothes
I know that saying “dress well, test well” – and while that might be true, I can’t wear uncomfortable clothes to study. I simply can’t do it. Leggings, a sweatshirt and sneakers are my go-to outfit for class, studying and exams (and mainly all of life to*
8 – Listen to a study playlist
Some people swear by classical music for studying but it just depends on what you like – I usually look up “study playlists” on Spotify and go from there.
9 – Take breaks
Every hour or so get up and walk around wherever you are, give your eyes a break from the screen and give your mind a chance to absorb all the information you’re throwing at it! If you get the chance, exercise is a great way to retain information after studying 🙂
10 – Have fun
Fun…during finals week? Yes! While you should spend a lot of time preparing and studying for your exams and finishing up projects, you should give yourself some time to relax. Some of my favorite memories of college are from doing funny things with my friends during finals week. During sophomore year there was a huge snowstorm and cancelled school during finals so my entire dorm went sledding and built snowmen together. It was a blast!