Final exams are over for me and I’m finally free; only for a few weeks, but that’s more than enough time for me to relax from school! In my 3 Months Recap I mentioned that I graduated with my associate of arts degree at a local college in my hometown and now I’m at a university and though it’s not much of a difference the courses are more rigorous and require a lot… A LOT of my time. Finals week at a small college doesn’t compare to finals week at a university. People passed out asleep on the library floors, the never ending lines at Starbucks, people running full speed to their exams; I’ve seen it all. This past week was everything that I’ve seen in movies and TV shows that I often thought were an exaggeration of university.
I was a part of the chaos for that week and I made sure to do whatever I could to make the grades that I wanted. Finals week can be extremely stressful for some especially when it’s your last chance raising your grade to maintain your GPA. I’m here to share with you all a five things that I did/used that helped me prepare for my exams.
1. Google Docs
Probably the one of the best creations ever for a college student! Google Docs allowed my classmates and I to compile our notes in one document to create a study guide. Instead of emailing word documents back and forth after making corrections this allowed us to just sign into our Gmail accounts and have the documents readily available. What’s best about this is that you can go in edit and chat with your classmates if you’re unable to meet in person. It’s very convenient and was a tremendous help in gathering notes that I was missing.
2. Organized my notes
Usually my notes that I take in class are a mess because I’m rushing to write everything down so I don’t miss anything, but then I just go home and rewrite and organize them. There’s nothing I love more than color coding, highlighting and sticking post-it notes everywhere. Organizing my notes by chapters and lectures allows me to go through them without confusion. When it comes to exam time I already have my notes in order and can study from beginning to end. Organizing your notes from the beginning will help a lot when it comes to finals week.
3. Review Sessions
If your professor is doing a review session, go! The best thing to do before a session is write down any questions that you need to be cleared up. So you should read and have your notes beforehand. In most study sessions you will learn what the exam is going to consist of and what kind of questions will be on the exam. This also let’s you gather more notes that you don’t have. Take full advantage of review sessions.
4. Dedicated 4-5 hours to just studying
This was a little difficult at first because I’m easily distracted by even the smallest noise. I had to do this especially because I was behind on the readings in some of my classes; don’t act like you’ve never been behind before, we’ve all been there. After a while 4-5 hours became nothing I would sometimes end up going for seven. It’s all up to you on how much time you need to spend studying. If you’ve been on the ball all semester then maybe 2-3 hours can work for you.
*Tip: go to the library to study on a quiet floor. For me it was less distracting and being surrounded by other people studying kept me motivated.
Once I’ve done all the studying that I can, attended all study groups and review sessions I let go and let God. Tests make me anxious, but I always find that praying before them helps calm my nerves a little. I even pray in the moments where I feel like giving up. I know I can’t do this whole college thing all by myself. If you aren’t a believer try and find something that calms you down for exams or makes you less stressed out. Finals week can be tough and I believe that you should always put your mental health before anything else.
Yes, this is the most stressful time of the semester and you often feel like giving up but keep pushing. Even if it’s just your very first semester of college just think of the reward at the end of it all. Good luck to all of you who are currently doing your finals and for those of you who have finished, you did it!
Leave a comment below sharing a few tips that you’ve done/used in the past or are doing currently to help get through your finals, I would love to read them.
Until next time!