Finals week is slowly creeping upon us and I'd actually say I'm more excited than nervous. My mindset was a bit off this semester and I'm determined to get back on track for next semester. FInals week is like the last mile of the marathon. The home stretch. While it won't be your last marathon, you get to have this opportunity to reset.
So what if you didn't do so good last time? Acknowldge what you did wrong and then plan out what to do so you'll do better next time. It might not be perfect but at least you're improving. Here are my top 5 study tips for final exams.
1. Get the 4-1-1 on each final you'll be taking
2. Create a safety net
DO NOT: Rely on the final as the only way to pass a class.
Get your grades as high up as you can so that in the worse possible case that you do flunk your finals or get a score less than great, it won't take too much of a hit on your grades. Creating this "safety net" should be done a month before the finals and should be finished 2 weeks before the final exam.
You should not create a safety net while you study for your finals.
3. Make a schedule and to-do list. Actually stick with it.
Creat a to-do list of what you need to study and review, as well as assignments you need to turn in so that you can complete your safety net. The sooner you start studying for your finals the better, but you should shoot for at least 2 weeks of studying prior to the final exam. Once you get the 4-1-1 of what topics will be on the exam, use this information to create your study schedule. Start off with the hardest and the topics you feel least comfortrable with first so you'll have time to ask questions and you won't feel so crammed on time. Even if you feel comfortable with a topic, go over and review it for at least 15 minutes.
Here are the websites I always use for my printables:
Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Yearly Planners & Calanders
Daily & Weekly Hourly Planners
To-Do List Templates
4. Study guides are not bibles
Most teachers will give you a study guide (if not, make your own) use this in the end; once you feel that you're ready for the final exam. Ask for an extra copy of the study guide so you can fill it out by yourself before the final, if it's a final for an AP class you should also time yourself, then compare your answers to the correct answers on the teacher study guide. This will give you a really good indication of what you know. BUT do not do the study guide "test" right after you're done studying for that subject. Take a few hours to reset your mind so that the information you're putting on the study guide "test" isn't just short-term memory (remembering that the answer for question 6 is B)
Also.. Study guides are not bibles!
Study guides are given to help students know the most important topics that will be tested. Not necessarily all the topics that will be on the final exam. Teachers like to be tricky and sneak a few questions in the exam to see if you actually paid attention in class or if you just crammped the night before the test. Review past topics/units; just not as thoroughly as you might with the topics on the study guide.
5. Taking the exam
Final exams, what I like to think, is 40% preparation and 60% mindset/attitude.
A student who studied every topic a month prior to the test but stayed up late cramming last minute information in their head the night before the exam, didn't eat breakfast because they were too busy studying, didn't bring water to school, and they felt like they still weren'tt ready for the test because they were really nervous. These students are more likely to get lower test scores than student who might've not studied as much as them but prepared themselves mentally and physically.
Mentally as in, reviewing the topics but also believing that you're ready and that you'll do good.
Physically as in, sleeping at least 8 hours (I personally sleep 10 hours), eating a well balanced breakfast, bringing snacks/water, and wearing comfortable clothes.
RIANNE DEL CARMEN
My biggest goal in life is to just live it. To enjoy every moment and find the beauty in all things. So I write to inspire others. Not to just enjoy life but to better themselves. To become a better student, a happier person, and a more loving human. With tips and stories, I hope to help you through all the rough edges.