Tips for Surviving Finals Week at College


As the academic year comes to a close, so does the dread of spring semester finals. Whether you think you have a cool head or are beginning to stress out over the upcoming exams, projects, etc., here are a few tips to keep in mind.


Sleep…No Seriously, Sleep!

If your ears have not yet bled from hearing this particular tip day after day in your college career, then you need to hear it again. Getting enough sleep is especially essential to how well you can do on your final exams. The hourly amount required for the human body is said to be eight hours. Personally, I would recommend anywhere from six to nine depending on how much sleep you normally get, the amount of content to study, and when your finals begin. Becoming self-aware of your individual sleep clock will help tremendously down the road.


Schedule Your Study Time and Stick To It

Make a note on your phone or agenda of when and where each of your finals is. Once that is done, carve out time slots for studying and/or practicing the elements the test will cover. Most classes conduct comprehensive exams, which may require more time. Other classes may only cover the content of the second half of the semester or the final unit of study. Either way, studying is generally advised and necessary to earn the grade you want to achieve.


Take Breaks for Relaxation and “Me-Time”

This is perhaps one of the hardest tips I struggle with, personally. If you are constantly running around and over-stressing from final to final, the exhaustion gained is likely to get the drop on you and lead to a far worse result than failing a test. Taking five to ten-minute breaks whilst studying as well as an hour or two for activities you enjoy will help ease the stressful tension and allow you to focus more on the next exam.


Back-Up All Your Papers and Projects

Some of the most useful tools in modern technology are USB drives, storage servers, and “clouds”. In the case that your personal or checked out computer crashes, you may lose all your work up to that point and will be forced to start over. This can be easily avoided by saving every so often as well as creating a duplicate on your USB drive, Google Drive, or Cloud storage center. Even if you are doubtful that your computer will kick the bucket — do not wait for the worst to happen as you are better safe than sorry.


Arrive Early or On-Time to Class

Do not, I repeat, do not ever arrive late for a final exam. College professors typically give certain instructions prior to starting the exam that will be quite helpful in the allotted time. If you arrive late, there is little chance he or she will share the same information again. Arriving late also means less time to take the test. Assuming class begins at 10 a.m. and you arrive at 10:15 a.m., you have just lost fifteen precious minutes overall. Arrive either on time or anywhere from ten to thirty minutes early to ensure you will not lose time to complete the exam.


Let It Go!

So, you’ve completed one or all of your final exams. Now it is time to breathe and move on. Stressing over what you earned on the exam will not change the result. If you have completed an exam and have another one soon, then it is time to accept that you did what you could and should focus on doing well on the next. If you have completed all of your exams, take what free time you may have to brush all that stress off your shoulders and go have fun.


Everything becomes a waiting game as soon as your finals are finished. Know that your tests do not define your success, present or future potential. Good luck to all college students on their finals this year and congrats to those graduating this spring!

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