How I Tackled Spring ’16 Finals
Finals week: a week every student dreads. I typically dread it as well; however, this time around I did not panic and pull all-nighters to prepare for my finals. In fact, I did the exact opposite, and I passed! I wanted to share some of the things that I did that allowed me to be successful during finals week.
1. Study Hard Throughout the Semester (Not just the night before a final)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we hear this all the time. But do we act on it? Not usually. This time around I did, and guess what…it WORKED. Every homework assignment I completed, I made sure that I understood the material. If I didn’t understand the material, I would make sure I learned it well before any test. I would try my best to review the material every other week to keep it fresh in my brain. Eventually when finals came around I was able to just review the material and complete practice problems to target any areas I was still struggling with.
2. Online Tutoring Sites
My schedule is usually full, which makes it hard for me to go to my professor’s office hours, so I had to find online sources that could help me learn how to apply new concepts to problems. The two I used the most were ClutchPrep.com and KhanAcademy.org. They are amazing resources and I 100% recommend them. I learned so much by using their services and I am grateful for them because, obviously, they are flexible with my hectic schedule. They helped me out so much when it came to studying for finals. They cover the material flawlessly and I could not ask for better online programs. (ClutchPrep focuses on the basic pre-medicine science courses like biology, chemistry, etc.)
3. No All-Nighters
All-nighters were not a thing for me during finals week. I need my sleep, all humans need sleep no matter what you may tell yourself. No grade is worth your health. I tried my best to get at least 6-7 hours of sleep throughout the semester, and during finals week I tried to get at least 5-6 hours of sleep, even before the day of the final. Sleep is very important to me; I have learned the hard way that if I do not sleep, then I won’t perform my best. Being awake during classes, and being alert during a final is key. (P.S. I do stay up pretty late at times, but I try to not make staying up past 12am a habit.)
4. Write Down Goals in Plain Sight
In my dorm room I have a white board and on this white board I wrote down my goals for final grades. Every morning I looked at them and it reminded me what I was working towards. It may seem silly, but it helps out a lot, especially on those days where you feel discouraged.
5. Have Confidence in Yourself
I can honestly say that this is the hardest thing to do. It has taken me a while to learn how to have confidence in myself and acknowledge the fact that I am more than capable of accomplishing my goals. When I studied for my finals I told myself that I know the material and told myself to not panic. When I walked into the class 30 minutes before the final I quietly reviewed the material and kept reminding myself that I knew the material that would be on the final. I told myself to have confidence. When my friends in class kept freaking out about the exam and said that they were going to fail I was the one to remind them that they were going to do fine and that they shouldn’t worry so much. Your attitude and the confidence you have in yourself plays such a big role in whether you succeed or fail.
There you have it. Those are the five things I did this semester to succeed in my classes, and most importantly, how I survived finals week.