How to do your best on final exams


Wait … you mean you already knew that?

As you spend your weekend reviewing your notes and readings from the past semester, we pulled together some tips to assure you do your very best on your exams next week.

  • Ditch some of your commitments. No one wants to skip out on social or family commitments, but even if you can carve out just a few hours of solo study time, it can be the difference between doing OK and doing great. (source)
  • Figure out your biggest problem area(s) and spend most of your time focusing on that material instead of giving all exams equal study time. (source)
  • Make sure your notes are legible and logical. More and more, professors are allowing students to use notes in finals, caring more about how well you can explain your ideas and less about tricking you or “gotcha!” questions. (source)Notebook Pen Laptop_iStock_000002482510Small
  • Take breaks. Your brain uses glucose while you study, so take a five-minute break every hour to get a snack or walk around. (source)
  • Know when to stop studying. Sometime between 12 and 24 hours before the test, stop. Cramming until the last minute is more likely to stress you out, and you’re not going to learn much new content during the final countdown. (source)
  • Get eight hours of sleep. It may be temping to stay up late and cram, but you don’t want to be sleepy during your exams. (source)
  • Build up your energy the day of the exam–and not with caffeine. Go for a walk, do a crossword puzzle, get some exercise. (source)
  • Don’t rush. Take your time. Summer break will still be waiting for you at the end of it all, no matter if you take an hour or three to finish up. (source)

Hand completing a multiple choice exam.Dale Toth, a human services student, shared his best study tips:

“I try to keep up with the material covered in class as we go along. Then when finals come, it’s just a matter of going over my notes a little as a refresher, and I’m prepared. This term has been particularly busy, and my time has been limited. I haven’t kept up the best on my classes, so I will be burning the midnight oil. I have a quiet place with no distractions to study in. I use a lot of flashcards, especially for vocabulary, and often look subjects up on the internet for a more thorough understanding of the subject. I find other opinions and different explanations help me both understand and remember better.”

If you have any study tips that work best for you, share them in the comments. Best of luck next week!

Green Light will be taking a break until summer classes start up. See you then!

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