10 Tips to Help You Ace Your Finals

So you made it through your first round of final exams in the fall, but now it’s time to do it all over again! Although you survived last time, you might be feeling overwhelmed with the amount of studying you have to do, papers to submit, or group projects to finish. It is totally normal to feel this way as finals week approaches, just know there are steps you can take now to help reduce (some of) your stress. Below are my top 10 tips on how to help you ace your finals that I wish someone had told me my first year.

  1. Don’t procrastinate. This might be obvious, but use your free time to your full advantage. Instead of watching Netflix, crack open one of your textbooks and get reading!
  2. Form study groups. I always compare my notes with people in my classes. You never know if your classmates may have picked up something in class that you might have missed! Study groups also help hold you accountable for studying because you have people relying on you. You can even use the University Libraries website to reserve study rooms!
  3. Make use of the spaces on campus. Studying in your room or residence hall might sound like a good idea, but it can be super easy to get distracted. I always head to one of the many libraries or a computer lab in an academic building.
  4. Get some zzz’s. It might seem like a good idea to pull an all-nighter the day before an exam, but the last thing you want is to fall asleep during it. Set a reasonable time to go to bed so that you won’t be tempted to stress all night.
  5. Ask questions. Your professors are there to help you. If you’re feeling confused on a particular topic in the class, email them or go to their office hours and ask questions. They’ll be happy you did!
  6. Take breaks. Sometimes you get so focused on one subject that you realize it’s been two hours and you can’t even remember what you just read. Avoid having this issue by taking short breaks every 15-20 minutes to help you stay focused and remember what you’re studying.
  7. Rewrite notes. If you take notes on your laptop, consider rewriting them by hand. It may seem a little tedious, but by doing this, you’re more likely to remember what you talked about in class! It can also be helpful to ask yourself questions to test your understanding or take notes while you are reading your textbook.
  8. Turn off your phone. Scrolling through Instagram for a few minutes may seem innocent, but it’s so easy to get off track. If you want to get really focused, turn off your phone (or mute notifications) until you’re finished studying.
  9. Eat well. Eating junk food may seem tempting (especially with all of the quick food options on campus), but now is the time to eat your fruits and vegetables! Your body will thank you and you won’t feel as sluggish. Also, make sure you’re drinking enough water to stay hydrated!
  10. Relax! Easier said than done, right? An hour before the exam, you’re probably not going to be able to comprehend any new information. Trust that your studying has worked, try not to get too worked up, and just do your best!

I hope that these tips can help you with your final exam prep! Good luck and Roll Tide!

Sarah Morrison

Contributor for Campus Life