Thanksgiving is over which can only mean a few more weeks until Christmas! Exciting right? Well those of you in high school and college may think otherwise. ‘Tis the season for pulling all-nighters, caffeine overdoses and very little sleep. I am not talking about the holidays but rather that one dreaded word… FINALS.

An Ode to Finals Week

Finals week is about cramming in everything you learned that semester. It is about that one test that can make or break your grade and it’s about that degree at the end of your college career. Trust me, I know the feeling. Been there, done that. I was queen of pulling all-nighters to cram for my exams. Little did I know I was actually doing it all wrong. Pulling all-nighters and cramming for exams last minute, can actually be less effective than other studying methods. Check out some of these studying tips to help you prepare for your upcoming finals!

Make a Schedule
Ironically enough, if you take the time to study you will actually comprehend the information you need to know. Don’t wait until the last minute. Cramming is quite possibly the worst thing you could do to yourself during finals week. When you have three to four tests in one week, it’s important to spread out the studying accordingly, so you’re not attempting to memorize a semester’s worth of knowledge in one nightmarish all-nighter. Sit down and organize your classes, your final dates and what you need to prepare for that final. Making a list might seem overwhelming but it will help you feel accomplished once you start checking off items.

Prioritize subjects
Calculate your  grades before studying. Admit it, this is common nature to us all. This is a way to prioritize which finals to study for first. Regardless of the order our finals come in for the week, there is that one class that calls for more attention than the rest of our exams. Spend more time on the areas you aren’t as comfortable with and less on the ones you know you can ace!

Block out distractions and choose the right environment
Ditch the phone and forget social media! I know it’s hard, but believe it or not, Candy Crush can wait. It’s important to stay focused while you are studying, otherwise you are going to have a difficult time soaking in the information and remembering it on your exam day. Save all of those distractions for your study breaks.

Study with efficient people. Nothing breaks your study streak more than those individuals that absolutely cannot stay on track with what you got together to get done in the first place. Remember the library is for studying, not for a social gathering. It’s comforting to study with friends, but be wise when choosing your study buddies if you want to be productive.

Take a break and rest up
With all of the studying you plan to do, it is important to take a breaks and get a good night’s sleep. This is a great way to recharge your body and your brain. If you are falling asleep while trying to study, take a power nap and study when you wake up. If you just need to clear your mind for a bit, grab a bite to eat, get some fresh air or grab something sweet. This sugar will give you that needed boost!

Stay on top of your health

Quick to grab an energy drink when studying? Try water instead! Dehydration leads to a loss in concentration and can negatively affect your cognitive thinking. Experts recommend consuming at least 8 cups of water a day. Not only is it healthier than all of that sugar you put in your body, it’s much more cost effective as well.


TAKE NOTE: Immoderate intake of caffeine = decreased energy = one physically and mentally exhausted student.


Finals week can be pretty stressful for everyone, so be sure to take deep breaths, and start with the basics. Best of luck to you all!


Jessica M.


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