Finals Week Tips
For those of us on the academic quarter system, this next week is finals week for the winter quarter. Finals are the most important event of the school term, and they can be worth anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of your grade.
Utilize study guides
The week before the final, ask your professor if a study guide will be available for the final. Guides are extremely helpful because they are virtual roadmaps of what the final will entail.
If and when you do get them, focus most of your studying efforts towards the review guides. If professors are going to the trouble of making a review sheet, they are doing it to guide your study efforts.
Visit review sessions
Similar to study guides, if a teacher or TA holds a review session, it is because they want to help you with your studying. When you go to a review session, come prepared with questions, and know what areas you need help with.
If a class does not hold a review, try to organize one with other classmates. While you won’t have any insight about what will be on the final, combining all of your notes can do nearly as good of a job. It also will help you make sure that you didn’t miss any key information during the course.
Get adequate sleep
This should be a no-brainer, but it is very tempting to pull an all-nighter and cram all of your studying in the night before the test. It doesn’t matter how much information you studied if you are falling asleep during the test. Sleeping is the best way to ensure that you are focused and coherent during finals.
Know how to work an alarm
This last bit of information is in regard to something that happened to me in my freshman year of college. I had a Saturday 8 a.m. final (which is ridiculous for a college student), so I set my alarm for 7 a.m. I thought that I had set the alarm for 7 a.m., but unfortunately it was set for 7 p.m.
I woke up at 8:55 a.m., and sprinted to class. While I had time to complete the test, my rhythm was completely thrown off, and I performed very poorly on the test.
So remember to prepare as much as possible beforehand, and double-check that your alarm is set correctly.