How to Ace Your Finals

just a finals week reminder for you–– you're amazing!

This is unequivocally the most dreaded time of the year–– in a way, winter finals are a thousand times worse than spring finals because you are forced to go back to school after a cozy Thanksgiving break (which is a total tease, by the way) and shove your nose deep into the crease of all of your books. Christmas is tantalizingly close, but it is impossible to relax in the weeks that precede winter break because if you let your guard down at all, the piling work will hit you like a train with broken railway brakes. Here are my tips to give you the push you need to come out of fall semester on top:

Realize why you started in the first place

You're at college to further your studies, and while most millennials take college for granted (I hate this, but it is true), it is an incredible privilege to be able to increase your knowledge and expand the amount of jobs you will be qualified for after graduation. Transfer this thankfulness and energy into your studies!

Find a good study spot

I prefer studying alone versus in groups because I tend to get less distracted. I avoid the school library because I tend to run into people I know there and get sidetracked. Instead, I study in the science building or at Starbucks where basically everyone is a stranger!

Get yourself noise cancelling headphones and a killer playlist

I got a pair of Beats Studio 2 headphones for free when I purchased a new laptop a few months ago, and I have used the heck out of them. My favorite playlist to listen to when studying is Spotify's "New Music Friday" because I usually do not recognize the songs so I don't really focus on the lyrics. Bonus–– you also end up finding some really cool new songs this way.

Prioritize your tasks

Figure out what needs to be started earlier and what can be put off until later. If you're good at writing papers, leave those until last and study for your tests first. If you take tests easily and don't need to put much effort into preparation, do your papers/essays first!

Review what you missed on midterms to figure out your weaknesses

If you get your midterms physically distributed back to you with comments on them, use this feedback that your teachers provided you with to see how you can improve on your next exam–– do you need to answer questions in more detail? Do you need to be able to relay concepts more clearly? If your tests are in multiple choice form instead of essay form, pay attention to how your teacher worded questions previously–– this can help you determine the correct answers in the future.

Eat and get sleep

I cannot function without at least six hours of sleep each night, so I am always amazed to see my best friend pull 2 all nighters in a row or to hear people in class say that they have only gotten 10 hours of sleep collectively over a week. If you prioritize your assignments and do not waste precious time, you WILL have enough time to sleep. If you happen to be pulling a ton of all nighters this semester, remember how you feel now and use this to remind yourself next semester that you need sleep–– keep on top of your coursework the whole semester and use this as a life preserver to keep yourself from drowning at the end of the semester.

As far as eating goes, don't skip meals because you are busy studying. Your body and brain need nourishment as fuel, and you will feel tired and moody if you don't feed yourself.

Find out what study techniques work for you

Flash cards do absolutely nothing for me–– I end up memorizing where the words are on them or the order that they are in instead of the actual information that is pertinent to the subject I am studying for. Rewriting my notes is my best option, and I recommend it if you have enough time–– physically writing things down as opposed to typing help you recall things when it comes to taking the actual test!

Finals week is temporary

If you are suffering and feeling emotional and horrible during finals week, just remember that it will end soon and you'll be able to go home to your family and relax! Nothing is permanent, so just power through and do your best. You got this!


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  3. These are great tips! I'm in the middle of law school finals now, and I totally get all of these - especially the eating and sleeping part! Good luck this week!!
    xo Kara