How to Survive Finals

Student Studying Sleeping on Books, Tired Girl Read Book, Library

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Student Studying Sleeping on Books, Tired Girl Read Book, Library

Bridget Kane, Writer

Let’s face it, finals suck. Whether it be for high school or college, we all have to take those super long and annoying tests at the end of the semester for each class. We can’t escape them and our teachers will not show us mercy, so how can you survive those last couple of days of studying before having a meltdown or begin to snore during the test?! If you are one of the millions of kids who struggle to focus and stay sane during the week of finals, then this is for you! I will give you the perfect skills to not only stay awake during your final exams, but also how to pass them.

The first step to becoming a finals master is to pay attention in class! We all doze off here and there, but when it comes to final exams, it works best to look back at your notes and some old questions given to you by your teacher. Look at some old worksheets, redo problems, or even ask someone to create some questions for you. If you don’t understand something, ask! Don’t be embarrassed about asking questions, because if you don’t understand something, it’s most likely that someone else in your class doesn’t understand too, but they’re too shy to ask. Be a hero and ask your question because it will most likely help another kid who is too shy to speak up. Also, if you don’t understand something on your homework or you missed some notes, break the silence and ask a classmate or email your teacher, otherwise you could be missing something important on your exam.

Don’t want to read that boring old textbook, searching page after page looking for the answer? Sticky notes will become your new BFF! If you are working on homework one night or reading in class and you come across a strange word or person you’ve never heard of, mark that page with a sticky note! Write down the word or name, then when you get home or if you have time in class, look up the definition or biography and take some small notes. You don’t have to write a novel, but make sure you have enough so that you understand the definition or know enough about the person. You can also use sticky notes to mark important dates like when you are going over a certain lesson or chapter. Post them in your locker, in your books, or even post them on your bedroom walls if that helps you remember!

Motivation can be hard to find in high school or college, but it can be especially hard during finals. So how do you avoid skipping class or the temptation of faking a stomach ache to stay home from school? First, know that failure is ok. Is failure the best thing ever or should you put no effort into your work at all? No, but it’s ok to drop the ball once in awhile because we’re only human! Recognize that you are not always going to get that “A+” or understand a lesson perfectly. Now that you understand it’s okay to fail once in awhile, let’s talk about how to motivate yourself to study.

Here’s the best tip ever for those of you who are addicted to your phone: turn it off and ask your parents to hide it somewhere safe, but somewhere you wouldn’t be able to find it. Even though you most likely want to hangout with your friends instead of sticking your nose in a thick textbook, why don’t you form a study guide? Not only will you cover more ground when it comes to studying, but it will make studying way more fun! If you have to read multiple sections in one night, go out to the nearest store and buy some of your favorite candy bars. Place one in each section so that once you are done reading that exhausting chapter, you can treat yourself with something sweet!

Eating healthy is not the easiest thing during finals week, especially if you’re stressed. Before you rush down to the kitchen to grab some salty chips or your stock of Monster energy drinks, try something else. Junk food like chips, candy, and energy drinks have a lot of artificial sugars, and even though it might keep you satisfied for a few hours, that effect won’t last. Your body is running on a sugar rush, and what must comes up must come down, and that includes blood sugar. You will most likely crash and become extremely tired and sluggish. Try having your mom or dad make salmon for dinner since that is high in omega-3 fatty acids which can keep you wide awake and alert. You can also try walnuts, leafy greens, eggs, and if you have a bit of a sweet tooth, dark chocolate. Just try and stay away from the energy drinks/coffee because it can really harm your body.

So it’s now the night before finals and you forgot to study, right? We’ve all been there, but you should also take this as a lesson because procrastinating gets you nothing but tired, burning eyes and a desk full of papers. However, if this is you right now, break down your subjects and study the most important sections or chapters from that class. If you’re not sure of that either, try and your best to remember what you went over the most in class then STUDY! You will most likely not pass with a perfect grade, but it’s better than failing, right? Don’t cram or pull an all-nighter though, because it will only result in disaster. When you cram information all at once, your brain will get super overwhelmed trying to figure out what to remember, but you will not remember anything. Also, don’t forget to sleep because it is a proven scientific study that a student who studies then sleeps right after remembers more information than a student who pulls an allnighter. Your body needs it’s rest, and if you don’t give it the time to fix itself, you could get seriously sick.

So, during finals, don’t forget to drink plenty of water, get lots of rest, and make sure you eat beforehand because you don’t want your stomach demonstrating it’s impression of a whale call in a deadly quiet classroom, right? If possible, get in early and ask your teacher any questions you may have before the test and look over your notes. Finally, don’t sweat it! If you studied and are confident, you will do just fine. So take a deep breath, relax, and take your time because you will do great!