7 Ways to Prepare for Final Exams

Photograph from http://petraacademy.com

Photograph from http://petraacademy.com

Sydney K. '19, Writer

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As a memorable 2015-2016 school year begins to wind down, an impending realization is starting to set in among the students of Padua…….it’s time for finals! Most Padua students, if not all, anxiously await the arrival of a much needed summer break. Many look forward to sleeping in late, going on vacations, and spending hot days at the pool with family and friends. Sadly though, before any of us can enjoy those among other fun summer activities, we must first prepare for final exams! Since most finals cover an entire semester’s worth of learning, you have lots of material to cover. Getting through finals efficiently requires some time management skills and proper planning. Although some levels of stress and anxiety are unavoidable, here are some helpful tips on how to prepare for your final exams while still giving yourself some time to hopefully relax a bit.

1. Start Studying in Advance:

In order to get a better grade and lessen your frantic stress, don’t wait until the day before to study! You can’t pull an all-nighter and try to cram an entire semester’s worth of material and expect to comprehend it. You should start studying at least one week before the exam.

2. Organize Your Study Sources:

Begin by making yourself a daily schedule of topics for review. It’s a good idea to cover a small amount of material for each subject for each day leading up to the final. Try testing yourself after each time you finish studying a topic.

3. Make an Outline:

Decide what you need to study and how much time you need to spend studying. As you read over your textbook and class notes, make brief outlines on each subject and write a summary for each topic. Highlight the areas in your outline that give you the most trouble. Once you have finished, you will have an informative outline you can use to review.

4. Make Flashcards: 

Making flashcards is a really helpful and even fun way to study. Once you’ve written down the information from your outline on the cards, you’ve already finished half the studying. You now have a portable study packet to easily look over. Studies have shown that handwriting notes help with better comprehension and memorization.

5. Ask for Help:

If you are having difficulty understanding a particular subject, don’t hesitate to ask for help before it’s too late. Ask your teacher to review any lessons that may have stumped you and ask questions about material that you don’t quite understand. Recruit your family members to quiz you with your flashcards and outline notes.

6. Stay Calm:

Stay calm. Don’t panic at the exam! If you are feeling anxious right before the exam, remember to relax and take a deep breathe. Don’t get stuck on questions you have trouble with. Answer all the questions you know first, then go back to the ones you passed on. Remind yourself of just how hard you prepared and whatever you do, don’t rush yourself.  

7.Relax Post-Exam:

Even if you feel like you completely bombed on the exam, worrying yourself sick about it will not change your score. Give yourself a break. Move on from the last test and stay focused on better preparing for the next one. Chances are, you didn’t do as badly as you think you did.

Maybe the most important thing that you can do to prepare for final exams is to make sure that you are getting plenty of sleep. It’s better to get a good night’s rest versus staying up late the night before the test trying to cram in some last minute studying. It’s also essential that you maintain healthy eating habits in order for your mind and body to stay strong and focused. Freshman Katherine Miller states, “I try to get a good night’s rest to wake up refreshed and ready to take on the tests that day.” Miller continued, “Knowing that I tried my absolute hardest in preparation for the exams helps me breathe a side of relief once I submit it.” Remember to keep in mind that in a matter of a few short days, finals will be over and done with, and you will be able to enjoy your summer vacation, finally.

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