5 Tips for a Successful Finals Week

Don’t let finals week get the best of you! The following five strategies are smart tactics that can greatly aid you during the course of your final exams. Ultimately, the key to success goes beyond simply “studying hard.”


1. Dedicate each day to a single subject

Instead of reviewing for several different exams within one timeframe, devote each day to preparing for a single test. The material you discuss in the latter half of a semester or term is often a continuation of information presented early in the course. Do not yet switch to studying for a second exam when you have established a solid rhythm reviewing for the first test. Remain on one subject per day in order to build on the course material and focus your efforts. Doing so will feel much less chaotic than jumping from one course’s notes to the other’s.

2. Review course notes in advance

Do not delay until the evening before the test to review your class notes. What if you discover that you can’t read what you wrote, or you just don’t understand the material? Study your course notes several days before the scheduled final. This will allow you time to ask your teacher or classmates for clarification if you have any doubts. Consistently skim your notes along the way and you will familiarize yourself with the content effectively. These are some great tips to help you organize your notes that you may find useful as well.

3. Study in small groups

When reviewing in small groups, it is recommended that the group have between two and four members. Even if you are an individual who doesn’t mind preparing by yourself, you can gain a tremendous amount of knowledge from studying with others. Perhaps another student has notes on a topic you forgot to jot down or can explain a concept you find difficult. Verbalizing information strengthens memory. Here are a few of the benefits of group study. However, study groups with more than four members can become disruptive and easily sidetracked. A smaller group allows each of you to more easily bounce ideas off of each other and come to quicker conclusions on class material. 

4. Record important dates

It is an excellent idea to maintain an agenda pad where you write down your obligations. Write the exact dates and times of all upcoming final exams, deadlines for essays, and review sessions you plan to attend. It would be a shame to spend hours studying and then miss the test because you forgot when it began. Keeping a thorough record of test dates and times – as well as study dates and times – is the simplest method to ensure that you’re on track and aware of your responsibilities.  

5. Treat your body well 

A healthy mind and a healthy body are crucial to success during a stressful week like this one. Your diet during finals week can have a significant impact on your performance during exams; feeling hunger pains while taking an important test is never a positive experience. During this crucial portion of the semester, it’s best to select food that will provide you long-lasting energy, such as complex carbohydrates (found in bread, cereal, etc.) and proteins. Caffeine and simple sugars may result in an initial rush, but this type of energy is short-term and will lead to a crash before you know it. When your brain must absorb a significant amount of information, it requires a greater caloric intake and additional hydration. Ensure you drink ample amounts of water in order to prevent headaches, cramping, and other negative side effects of dehydration. Taking good care of your body will bring you advantages during the test days you may not have even imagined. Feeling well and strong is half the battle to acing your final exams. You may also want to take a look at this information on the importance of sleep!