It's the worst time of year: finals. You've worked so hard all semester to keep those amazing grades and it could all go to crap with one stupid three-hour exam. Or maybe finals are your saving grace. Maybe, you need an excellent grade on your finals to boost your GPA or get an A in a class. Whatever the case, finals are nerve-racking for everyone.
I'm only a freshman, so this is my second round of college finals, but, I will say, I did learn a few things my first go around.
1. Make a Study Schedule
This is so, so important. Making a schedule of all your final dates and then planning each day leading up to them is crucial. Instead of studying willy-nilly and going in blind, make a detailed plan. This way, you can be as efficient as possible while studying without getting overwhelmed or stressed out. Last semester, I remember cramming in everything at once just trying to hurry and know as much information as possible in as little time as possible. Bad idea. Knowing more quality information about a subject rather than skimming the surface will help you in the long run.
2. Ask Others for Help
This really goes for any exam but is especially helpful when it comes for comprehensive finals. Ask people who have already taken a particular class how much of each chapter is on the final or what you generally need to know. This way, you can study more of what you know will be on the final and not waste time learning information that won't be on there.
3. Ask the Professor for Tips
Do not, and I repeat, do not be afraid to ask your professor for tips. You should be getting to know your professor throughout the semester by asking questions after class or visiting them during their office hours, but don't be alarmed if you haven't. Nine times out of ten, they will help you will any concerns you have about the final as far as what units you need to really study or what type of questions will be on the final.
4. Study in a Group
This will relieve some of the stress of finals. For me, some subjects are easier to study alone. Things like math and science, though, I need to study for in a group. When you get confused about something, it can be a lot easier to ask your peer for help than spending half an hour trying to Google the answer online.
Do not freak out! Finals week is a time when everyone and their momma is stressed and focused on acing their tests, so don't feel alone. If you begin to feel overwhelmed, take a snack break or make a quick trip to the gym. Sometimes our brains need a break. Don't overwork yourself.
At the end of the day, finals are important, but it won't be the end of the world if you do poorly on one. Just study your hardest and try your best!