Prepare for finals

Student writing at a table outside

With the academic year wrapping up, finals are just around the corner. Here are five tips from the Academic Resources staff to help you make the most of your reading days and finals week.

Prepare in advance

Know your exam schedule and type of exams. This allows you to choose the best study methods and allocate enough time to prepare for each test, project or paper. Download the finals planner to help organize your study schedule.

Break it up

As you create your study plan, schedule yourself small sessions spread throughout the week. Use small pockets of time if possible, but if you need a longer session, break it up into 50 minutes of study followed by a 10 minute break.

Eliminate distractions

Choose an ideal study spot and find your focus. Silence your phone and keep it out of sight. Try studying with wordless music so you don’t end up singing along instead of studying.

Be active and engaged

Research shows rereading material and notes isn’t as effective as active recall and self testing. Instead of passively reviewing, take action. Solve sample problems, take a practice exam, create and use flashcards. When reviewing notes, make a summary sheet or organize information visually to make connections between topics.

Ask for help

Take advantage of SI summary sessions and tutoring appointments or create a study group on your own. Teaching others what you know helps reinforce the material and a group might help you discover where you need more practice. You can also meet with a member of the Academic Resources staff to prepare a study plan or to learn more study strategies.

Best of luck as you finish up coursework and navigate finals week. You got this!