A Guide to Surviving Finals



Hand completing a multiple choice exam.

Every high schooler can relate to the very dreaded and stressful week during finals. Not only are teachers cramming in lessons and more homework assignments, but we also have to study for the biggest tests in the semester. Finals week drags on forever, while the week prior goes by in what seems like five minutes. Studying for these tests can be a bit difficult and many students tend to procrastinate. Hopefully after reading, you can figure out a way to make the most out of the limited time before finals week.

The first, most important tip would be cutting the cord between you and your phone. I can already sense the tears waiting to fall from your face, but it’s okay. Despite what you think, you’re not going to suffer from withdrawal. Phones are only a distraction when it comes to studying. It’s easy to lose track of time going through social media or watching videos. You’re trying to use your time wisely, not waste it.

However, phones aren’t the only things that can distract you. Your surroundings also affect how well you study. It’s smart to try to find a relaxing and quiet place to go over the material for finals. If you’re in a typical library trying to study, there are many factors that can keep you from doing your work. Maybe it’s people walking back and forth through the aisles or even too many items around you. A lot of the times, rooms that are warm or homy are good to avoid. Places like these can make you fall asleep or doze off. It would be best to find a study area that is clean and fairly quiet.

Secondly, you need to get enough sleep. It may seem like a good idea– staying up all night to continue studying– but again, that would be a great waste of time. When you pull an all nighter, you’re taking away your brain’s time it needs to rest and repair for the following day. This would explain why staying up too late to study won’t work. Your brain won’t retain the information that you’re feeding it in such a short amount of time, causing studying to be very ineffective.

My third tip would be to have study sessions for 30 to 50 minutes followed by a 10 to 20 minute break in between each session. Having these breaks can help with distractions if you use this plan as a tool. If you study according to this schedule, or one like this, you can reward yourself with a break if you stay on task. Hopefully, rewarding yourself will give you more motivation to get your study on. The break can consist of stretching, exercising, scrolling through twitter, playing video games, or anything else your weary heart desires. What’s most important is that you utilize your studying time to the best of your ability.

One final tip I have that most students tend to forget, is to worry about yourself. Don’t lose focus of your goals and responsibilities. Worrying about other people and what they may get on the test only adds more stress in your life. The most essential thing is to focus on what you can do to improve yourself and/or your grade. This also goes for when you’re taking the actual exam. As people start to get up to turn in their test, don’t try to rush (although you should still keep track of your time). If you even have five minutes before you need to turn in your test, go over it to make sure everything is good. Nothing is worse than missing points because of silly mistakes that could have easily been fixed. It’s not a race for who finishes first, so slow your roll.

Finals week can often be very grueling, especially if you don’t prepare yourself mentally and physically. As long as you prepare yourself in those ways, you will make it out alive and so will your grades. Whether you do good or bad, at least you’ll have a reason to treat yo self during break.