A Honors Student's Top 9 Study Tips For Finals

A Honors Student's Top 9 Study Tips For Finals

My top study tips, coming from an honors student who feels fairly confident in her test-taking abilities.

We're halfway through April, which means finals season is scary close. Whether you're ready to coast through the rest of the semester or are just realizing you need to really get your stuff together these next few weeks, becoming prepared for finals is a little different for everybody.

However, no matter your major, the number of tests you have, or how desperately you need an A on these exams, here are some of my top study tips, coming from an honors student who feels fairly confident in her test-taking abilities.

1. Make a calendar of your finals

Prior to starting any studying, go through all of your syllabi and make sure that you don't have any overlapping exams, which you would have to coordinate to move with your professors, and it also lets you have a better understanding of how far apart — or close together — all of your tests are.

2. Make checklists of what is on each exam

Break down each of your exams by the topics, chapters, or concepts that will be covered. Is your test cumulative? Just the most recent material? Make a to-do list of each chapter so that you don't let yourself skip anything.

3. Find the study environment most comfortable for you

My best study spot is normally sitting in my bed because I know it's generally quiet and I can spread out and be comfortable. For others, the second they sit in bed to study they'd pass out. Before finals start, figure out your top study spot so that when it comes time to actually study you know right where to go.

4. Don't forget the essentials

When you go out to study, make sure that you have everything you need with you to study for as long as you need. If you forget something, like your laptop charger or a snack, you'll take a break from studying to get those items and chances are you won't want to start back up studying.

5. Different exams need different study strategies

Some exams require reading through all of the chapters covered. Others need you to have a large flashcard deck to memorize a bunch of terms and definitions. Even others are math-based and need you to do numerous practice problems. Figure out what is expected for each exam so you don't waste any time studying something not needed.

6. Don't be afraid to look for help

No one expects you to be an expert on everything, especially if it's a class that might not necessarily be for your major or really any class you have that might be a little more difficult. My university offers tutoring resources for all students or you can look for any friend or peer who may have previously taken the course that may be able to assist you.

7. Try to cover all your bases

Finals can be an overwhelming time because unlike during the main chunk of the semester, when all your exams may be spread out a little more, finals season may throw you exams back to back. When studying, try to not focus on one exam for too long, but it may be more helpful, less distracting, and possibly less boring if you divide your time up among exams and dedicate an hour or so at a time to separate exams.

8. Go in with a positive mindset

Day of, walk into the exam with your best state of mind possible. If you're worried or negative or anything of that nature, it will likely negatively affect your performance on the exam and hurt you. Even if you don't think you know everything, go into the test acknowledging all of the concepts you do understand, rather than overthinking what you might've missed.

9. If needed, calculate the test grade you need for the final grade you want

Depending on your performance in the class that semester, you may have a specific letter grade in mind that you want to walk away with. Prior to the exam, calculate what you need on the final in each of your classes to get the A or B or whatever you're looking to get. You may be surprised, or not as worried, if you don't need as stellar of a grade to get by. It also may help you when dividing up your precious study hours to different exams.

However, you like to study, good luck on your upcoming finals! Don't worry about the expectations of other people and focus on what makes yourself most proud and happy.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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5 Struggles That Coming Home For The Summer Pose

Summer isn't always what you think it's going to be, especially when you're coming home.


Summer break is amazing in so many ways: you're given countless hours to yourself, no daily stresses concerning school and assignments, and no overbearing pressures to go out every single night. However, coming home (usually) means you're back living with your parents and back to abiding by their rules, despite the fact that for around ten months, you were the only person making the rules in your own home. Despite the perks that come with summer, I have composited 10 reasons why summer can be hard to bear.

1. Having a set curfew.

I find it almost comical that I was able to "run free" for 10 months in Tallahassee with no regard for what time it was, but while at home I get the "it's time to come home" text from my parents as soon as 11 o'clock rolls around. For the entire school year, I was able to stay at friends' places until the sun came up, at walk out of clubs around closing time with no fear of getting punished for staying out too late, but now, I have to constantly plan around my curfew and ensure that I'm home before I get on my parents' bad side.

2. Having to get a summer job.

It was always a rule in my house that jobs were only meant for summer since my parents felt that getting good grades were our primary priority, so now that school's out, I'm working at my local Panera and dog-sitting for my neighbors, even though I absolutely hate dogs. Working isn't the worst thing I've had to do, but when I have to miss beach days and parties for a job that only pays $9 an hour, it sucks!

3. Countless days of boredom. 

College has made me accustomed to being surrounded by other people and activities 24/7. Sure, there were a couple of hours a day for alone time, but the majority of my day was spent hanging out with friends, going to my sorority, going out, and attending class. Now that I'm home and far away from my friends and the social aspect of FSU, I find myself bored and lonely.

4. Less freedom and independence. 

While away at school, I was able to do pretty much anything I wanted without my parents finding out. I was able to go get fast food in the middle of the night, go out to clubs, and sleep at my friends' place whenever I wanted. Sadly, now that I'm home, I can't just leave whenever I want or do whatever I want; I have to tell my parents when I'm going to places, where I'm going, who I'm meeting, and when exactly I'll be home.

5. Having to unpack and sort through your old clothes and the ones you brought to school.

Being the youngest has gifted me with an overabundance of hand-me-downs, everything from prom dresses to shoes to jewelry. However, over the years, the amount of clothes I have accumulated is insane; coming home has forced me to sort through the piles of old clothes and things I don't want anymore in order to make room for the multiple suitcases I brought back from school. My room looks like a tornado swept through it for three weeks now, despite the countless hours I have spent organizing, donating, and folding.

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