How to Prepare for your Finals

With the school year drawing to a close, I think there is sense here at Franklin High of general stress. Its finals time! Just a final in one class is overwhelming, never mind all six of them! Remembering everything from day one to now and being tested on it, in six subjects. This time of the year is both exciting because school is almost out and the weather is starting to get nice, but very tense because of finals and teachers are rushing to get everything done. But I thought it would be helpful to list some tips on preparing for your finals to take off some of that stress.

Weeks before finals:

  • Start early– don’t save all the studying to the night before, cramming doesn’t work for most people
  • Manage your time– plan out what you are going to study, and when! Don’t save it all to the night before your test, but don’t go crazy with studying. Make a calendar and plan everything out
  • Prioritize- be realistic, you only have a short amount of time to study the material. Choose what class you really need to do good on the final and focus more on that. Also, don’t obsess over tiny facts and details, if you understand the general concepts, you should do fine.
  • Schedule time for breaks– if you are staring at your notes for hours, you wont even know what you are reading anymore and you’ll drive yourself crazy. Take a break, goo for a walk, watch some TV that doesn’t involve any thinking, pig out!
  • FLASHCARDS- are wonderful, if you are just reading over your notes, it does not good, you brain doesn’t remember it as well flashcards are a good way to quiz yourself and make sure you know the information and writing all the information like that also helps
  • Free your schedule– try not to make any big plans the week before/of finals and if you can, try to work less, your main focus during this time should be on finals, but don’t drive yourself crazy its okay to take a break and meet up with a friend for lunch or a movie
  • Create a study group– chances are that the people taking the same final, have a majority of the same questions that you do, or might be able to help with something you didn’t quite understand. Just make sure it doesn’t turn into a big group of friends hanging out and socializing with no studying happening.
  • Get help– don’t be afraid to ask your teachers for help, its their job and they usually really appreciate the extra effort (if you stay after for help you may even get some inside information on what is actually going to be on the test)
  • Don’t forget to sleep!– even though it may seem like you need to spend all your time studying, no matter how many all nighters you pull, but your brain actually functions better and retains more information when it is well rested.
  • Don’t stress– try and stay calm, whats the worst that can happen if you don’t do well on the exam? Here, finals only count for 10% of your overall grade. If you stress too much, going in on the day of the test you will be a nervous wreck and you’ll be thinking about is how bad you’re going to do. Take a deep breath and relax

Day of the test:

  • Don’t rush– exam periods are almost always longer than you actually need. There are no extra points added for being the first to finish, take as much time as you need
  • Read the directions!– even though reading directions takes away from the time you could be using to answer more questions, the question may be asking for something totally different than you think by just looking at the problem, or it might ask for something extra than you are used to. Always always always read the directions, I think we’ve all made this mistake at least once
  • Narrow down possible answers– most final exams are multiple choice that can be graded quickly for the end of year grade closings. Try and rule out any answers you KNOW are wrong, if you can get it down to 2, guess you have a 50% chance of getting it right.
  • Skip and go back– if you know you take longer on tests, don’t be afraid to skip questions you aren’t sure about (but don’t forget to go back!) the answer may become more clear as you go on.
  • On essay questions– try and make an outline for yourself so you know what to write ahead of time and don’t find yourself rambling on
  • Check answers– make sure you answered all the questions before handing in your test, on multiple choice answers, your first instinct is almost always right so don’t change them too much. Make sure you answered what the questions were asking for and hand it in!

Post-Exam:

  • RELAX!– its no use stressing about how you did, because no matter how much you think about it, your grade will not change
  • Reward yourself– for doing a good job! You did your best (hopefully) and worked hard for the weeks leading up to the finals, its time for a break. Go out and have some fun!