Finals week is easily the most stressful time of a college students' career. It's crunch time. Professors and instructors are finalizing grades, not rounding up for anyone (even though I wish they would). Everyone is anticipating the upcoming break and, at least for me, that's what all the focus is on. Exam week is honestly so hectic, and everyone is on edge. The only thing that ever gets me through the week is that I know it's only a couple more days until a really long break. Here are some things that help me have a successful exam week.
1. Sleep is essential.
First things first, you HAVE TO get enough sleep. I know some people like to stay up all night because they think it will help them remember all the information they need to know for their exam. I hate to break it you, but that's a big fat lie. You will feel so drained and uninvolved. Believe me, I have done it before and it sucks. If you normally get 5 or fewer hours of sleep per night, it would be in your best judgment to shoot for maybe 6 or more hours. I promise you that you will wake up feeling great and prepared to take on that exam.
2. Eat something for breakfast.
If you're anything like me, you skip breakfast every single morning and use coffee as a meal replacement. If you care about yourself or your grades at all, you will eat before that test. Something as little as a PopTart or a granola bar will make you feel full and give you more energy for what you need to get done.
3. Set many alarms.
Even if you wake up easily to one alarm every morning, set more than one. It is a very big deal to be late to a final or, worst case scenario, miss it entirely. You will be frazzled showing up late, so just do yourself the favor and set more alarms. There also is an app available on the App Store called Alarmy, and it makes you do little puzzles to turn the alarm off, so you have to actually get your brain working first thing in the morning. I used it for my first exam week ever and I woke up around 7 for a very important exam that I studied so hard for and I used Alarmy that morning, and I made myself do simple math problems to turn the alarm off.
4. STUDY STUDY STUDY
There may be only one thing that you take from these tips, and I hope it's this. If you think you know the material for your final, study it again. And after you've studied it for a second time, study it once more. There is no limit on studying and it will really benefit you after the fact. I know everyone is so stressed out during finals week and everything is jumbled, but don't let your stress get in the way from you doing well on an exam. Any amount of studying will help you, just don't spend an hour looking over things that you aren't retaining or that won't help you on the exam that you will take.
5. Relax (not in the "lay in your bed" relaxing)
It is so easy to get carried away in the stress of the last week before a break. Take study breaks every so often. Go grab a coffee or a hearty meal. Don't beat yourself up about taking an exam or worry yourself that you won't do well on it. As long as you are giving your ultimate, best effort, you will succeed. I know the overwhelming feelings of exams and how they affect students but take heart in knowing that you are not alone in feeling stressed out. It'll all work out for you.
Please take these tips as they are and if something doesn't work for you, try a different method. Everyone deserves to do well on exams after an entire semester of strenuous coursework. Good look on your exams this semester and have a great break.