Campus Current staff members offer tips to survive the last days of finals week


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Campus Current says manage your time, get sleep and stay off your phone during finals week.

Sarah Noble, Multimedia

Want to survive the last few days of final exams? Follow these steps that Campus Current staff members swear by.

While studying:

Some exams cover material you learned at the beginning of the semester. If you don’t know where to start, break your review time into small steps. Ideally, everyone wants to have a neatly kept schedule with hours marked by colorful pens. But during finals week, time spent studying is more important than planning.

If making a study schedule stresses you out, start by thinking about what is going to take you the most and least time. For example, you might feel confident in math, but not so much in English. So, study your worst subject first.

Go through your previous tests and make a list of general concepts you need to review, like analyzing poetry or writing a thesis. From this list, find some old classwork problems that will help you jog your memory and practice.

Make sure you practice problems that you have the solutions to, so you know if you are doing it right. Keep an easy to read checklist, so as you study, you can check tasks off and take them off your plate.

Before the exam: 

Wake up earlier than you think you need to on the morning of your exam. Set as many alarms as you need to get yourself out of bed. Drink at least one glass of water to wake up and get your brain juices flowing.

Get to the exam at least five minutes before it starts. When you arrive at the classroom, sit quietly in that time and try to clear your head. That way, you can try to block out pre-exam anxieties. Most importantly, as soon as you arrive put your phone on silent and away.

During the exam: 

Campus Current staff members all advised if you need to talk during an exam, whether it be to ask your professor a question or borrow an eraser from the person next to you, talk loudly. One of the worst things that can during an exam is being accused of cheating. No matter how embarrassing it may be, talk loud.

If you are totally spacing out on a problem, mark it and come back to it. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand or go up to the teacher and ask a question if you are confused. Even if they can’t tell you the answer, most professors are happy to offer assistance.

After the exam:

Try not to commiserate about how you think you did on your exams. Accept that you did the best you could do, and take a sigh of relief that its over.

Take a minute to think about what the most difficult parts of finals were this semester and try to avoid these in the spring. Maybe you had a professor who was really tough, or you didn’t realize how much doing your homework would have helped you prepare for your finals.

Prepare for a new start. Maybe this coming semester you’re going to make sure and attend more classes, so you don’t feel so flustered by finals. Maybe you will turn in every homework and try really hard all semester, so your grade on the final won’t matter as much.

Whatever changes you choose to make, Campus Current encourages you to take advantage of the campus’s free tutoring, writing center, math lab and library study rooms to maximize your chances for future academic success.