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Finals Strategies

November 17, 2017

It’s November, and that means that it’s time to think about finals, unfortunately. Less than a month from now, on December 6th, classes for the semester will end, and students will need to gear up for final exams, starting two days later on the 8th. However, preparation doesn’t just start on the 6th. If there is any way to hinder academic success, it’s procrastination. So how does one prepare for finals, anyway?

First of all, start early. By now, you should probably be thinking about what you’ll need for your final exams. Some professors have cumulative finals, in which the entire semester is covered on one test. If you know that is what your professor wants, then be sure to keep notes from early in the semester to go over periodically, rather than cramming it all during Reading Day. If your exam isn’t cumulative, then take special care with the notes you take leading into the exam. Make sure you go to class every day if you can, and try your best to take detailed notes. Regardless, start early, so you don’t have to worry about hitting the books all day the night before and hoping it sticks.

Second, don’t overdo it. The last thing anyone needs is to be burnt out at the last second. Try to take breaks in between study sessions to play video games, hang out with friends, or do some pleasure reading. Whatever you want to do for fun is still important, even in you have finals to work on. This becomes a lot easier when you haven’t procrastinated, so you have more time to relax and have fun.

But studying isn’t the only preparatory tool available. Staying healthy is key. Be sure to get enough rest to function not just on the day of the final, but in the week or so leading up to it. Spend a couple of days fixing your sleep schedule to make sure you can function on the day of your final. This one is harder, as final projects and papers tend to interfere with sleep, but be sure to finish work early, so you can get some sleep. If necessary, consider picking up a couple of extra hours of rest on Reading Day before studying. In addition, eat consistently. Skipping meals is a surefire way to feel awful during tests, so wake up early for breakfast, don’t skip lunch unless necessary, and always leave time for dinner when you’re working.

These tips aren’t going to guarantee you an A, but they’re a good start for ensuring that you have a chance. Even though finals are tedious and often feel awful, there is a bright side. Once you finish, you can celebrate all you want. Good luck, Scots. You’ve got this.

Anthony Adams
Political Editor

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