Prepare for finals with these tips

Final projects and exams are right around the corner, and students may be struggling to find ways to make the most of their last weeks at college while still achieving their ideal grades. To minimize the seemingly inevitable all-nighters and last-minute cramming, consider following a few of these final exam study tips:

  1. Start studying early. That’s right. Teachers have been saying this since the beginning of time, but it’s true. Spreading out studying makes it less likely for the brain to burn out. Most students have several final exams, so allowing ample time to study will result in overall better results across the board.
  2. Create a study group. While some students study better alone, others are more successful in an environment where they can bounce ideas and questions off other classmates. Small study groups are perfect for students who need peer motivation. Stevenson allows students to book study rooms in hour-long increments. Just go to the library website and select “Book a Study Room” to secure a spot.

    Students have found success studying in groups. (Photo from

  3. Ask the professor questions. Professors are there to help their students. No professor wants a student to struggle, so ask the professor questions. Professors are passionate about their course’s subject matter, and they are passionate about their students. When students show an interest in learning and doing well, the professor is usually willing to help.
  4. Take breaks. Studying for hours upon hours with no breaks is nobody’s idea of a good time. When students allow themselves small breaks in between studying, it seems like less of a chore. Breaking up the time gives students something to look forward to. Studying is not necessarily the most fun task, so when students give themselves rewards, studying becomes a little bit more bearable. Breaks also give the body and brain time to recharge.
  5. Be positive. Your attitude walking into an exam can have a huge impact on how well you do. A defeatist attitude before taking the test can result in a low grade, while an optimistic attitude can result in your doing better than expected. Positivity is one of the many keys to success.
  6. Eat breakfast. When you skip breakfast, your blood sugar never rises, which can affect not just your cognitive skills, but your feelings as well. You may feel anxious, sweaty or shaky, and get distracted by what’s happening to your physical self. Whole-grain waffles with fruit and yogurt or scrambled eggs with cheese will give you the protein you need. Even a bagel is better than nothing at all.

While final exam week may be stressful, effective study techniques can help release some pressure that exams put on students.

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