Rare is the student who actually looks forward to final exams. These dreaded tests mark the division between a long and hard semester and a few weeks or months off to rest and enjoy a break from the rigors of college studies. As awful as they might be, getting though them and onto that summer or winter break doesn’t have to be an uphill battle if you start preparing early and get yourself set up for success. If you’re looking for a few ways to help you perform better on your final exams, here are some prep tips that will have you ready and willing to get those tests out of the way.
Get your notes together and organized. You don’t want to be hunting around for essential papers the night before an exam. By pulling together your information early on, you’ll have a chance to borrow notes from classmates if you’ve lost any of yours and to locate any misplaced papers. It can make study crunch time for finals a whole lot less stressful.
Have a study schedule and stick to it. It’s easy to plan to study for your exams a few weeks early but much more difficult to actually motivate yourself to do so. Don’t cut yourself any slack, however. If you make a plan to study, stick to it.
Stop procrastinating. Procrastination is your enemy when it comes to studying for and doing well on finals. Cramming for exams isn’t going to help you so start early and work through the weeks leading up to finals to get the best results.
Ask for help from classmates and professors. When you start preparing earlier, you might notice things you don’t understand from class or have questions about. Use this time before exam craziness to ask professors and classmates for help so that you’ll be much more confident come test time.
Make study tools early on. Don’t wait until the night before your final to make flashcards or outlines of your notes. Do these things early so you can use them for several days to study and get your brain thinking about the topics covered by your exams.
Find out what you need to know. It’s essential that you determine what your final is going to cover and the format it will be given in. You’ll need to study differently for an exam that focuses on memorization than for one that focuses on writing an essay. Know what you’re going to have to tackle and make a plan to do so in advance.
Taking final exams may not even constitute as fun, but it can be an fulfilling way to show off what you’ve learned throughout the semester. Studying hard, preparing early on and using good test-taking strategies are all ways to help ace your finals and move you with confidence into the next semester.