Tips for Finals That Are ACTUALLY Useful

Tips for Finals That Are ACTUALLY Useful

Tips for getting through finals week that may actually help you survive.

University of Dayton Library

Finals are coming up, and you know what that means, stress, sleep deprivation, and LOTS of coffee. While there are tons of ideas for surviving finals including ways to study and ways to stay sane, here are some that might actually be useful to you.

Exercise a little while studying.

If you aren't big into exercise, this is still a good one for you. Walking on a treadmill, stationary biking, or using the elliptical are good ideas for this tip. With these exercises, you can get a light workout, while still being able to focus on your studying. This works positively, because exercise raises your endorphins, so you won't feel as stressed or burnt out. Not to mention, the movement will keep you from getting bored and distracted from your work.

Don't try to study more than 30-40 minutes at a time.

Studies actually show that if you study for hours on end, you likely won't retain the information. After about 30-40 minutes of studying, you stop retaining what you're learning. This is one I've tried personally and, wow, does it make a difference. I set a timer for 30 minutes and study, and then take 10-minute breaks in between each 30-minute interval. I usually check my phone, grab a snack or pick up a little around my room, but I make sure to get up and move. This little bit of time is all you need to refresh your brain so you can get back to studying at an optimal level.

Utilize the internet.

I can't even tell you how many people I have met that haven't heard of Khan academy, Ted Talks, Brainscape, or Quizlet. These websites have been essential to my learning throughout college. How many times have you had a teacher who just didn't explain a concept in a way you understand? When you utilize the internet you can find other professors and other people who can explain these topics in many different ways - hopefully a way that helps you learn. If your final is coming up and there's one chapter you really can't get a grip on, the internet is a great resource.


Okay, okay, okay I know you're all rolling your eyes at this one, but what's great about meditation is that it's like taking a refreshing nap without taking too much time from studying, and you can do it anywhere! And, meditation has been shown to reduce stress and increase focus. If nothing else, give this a try.

Turn your phone on silent and make sure no one is going to interrupt you for a few minutes. Get in a comfortable sitting position, and relax your body. Focus on your breathing for a minute - breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. If your mind starts to wander towards deadlines and essays - that's okay. Just find your way back to focusing on your breathing.

And that's it! Try for a few minutes (maybe during one of the breaks we talked about earlier) and see if this mindfulness works for you!


Not because you're panicking or stressed or whatever, but if you feel overwhelmed and like crying, then cry. Let yourself release for a few minutes. It won't take long, and you'll feel much better after releasing all that pent up emotion.

Good luck on your finals, don't forget - you got this!!!

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