But First, Finals: How to survive exams

The year is winding down and students are gearing up for finals. (File photo/The Daily Campus)

The year is winding down and students are gearing up for finals. (File photo/The Daily Campus)

The time is here, everyone: Final exams, and soon after, summer vacation. Whether your vacation is full of research, work, a trip or nothing but relaxation (or boredom), you’re going to need to first make it through your exams to enjoy your time away from classes. Here are some tips to get through the last of this semester! 

Manage your stress 

Without classes next week, you have a lot of time on your hands to study. However, it’s not going to feel like a lot of time once you schedule in your multiple exams, probably all at inconvenient times. Organize yourself and your time so you won’t feel overwhelmed, which we talk about later in this article. As much as you’ll want to cram, do not continuously study for hours on end. Sometimes, an all-nighter is not worth it! Choose a time to stop studying every day and stick to it. Relax and enjoy yourself, or your stress will catch up to you.

Check in with the Academic Achievement Center in Rowe 

The school’s Academic Achievement Center (AAC) is the place to go if you need some in-person assistance with your studying habits and to talk through your study plan. Professional staff are available throughout the semester by appointment if you call or email. However – and this option is especially viable for those trying to make the most of their time during finals week – there is academic coaching available in the center from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day for one-on-one sessions where you can ask about how to best tackle your exams. They hosted some finals prep workshops last week, so they might share some insight they divulged there. It might be helpful to gain some outside perspective! And if you’re not able to stop by their office in John W. Rowe Center for Undergraduate Education Room 217, check out their resources online with different documents focusing on time management, exam preparation and how to further engage your learning such as with mind maps and flashcards. 

Stay organized and make a plan 

As easy as it might seem to decide to study a few chapters and the previous exams in a course and call it a day, staying up until the eleventh hour to do so does not sound fun. Having multiple exams in the span of a few days is daunting. By planning out how and when you’re going to study for each exam, you can manage your time better and prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed. Examine how you’ve studied for certain courses before, and assess if that’s actually been effective for you. If not, try the five-day study plan offered on the AAC’s website, or talk to other people who are in and have taken the class before who you think can help you. Even if you may not want to write out a detailed plan, it helps to write down a to-do list or have somewhere when you write out when all your exams are, the areas of study you want to focus on and maybe materials you want to go over, such as previous tests or homework. 

 

Change of scenery 

Being cooped up in the library all day is no fun. Make sure you take breaks and see the sunlight. Not only should you try moving around in your off-time, but maybe try studying in a different place rather than Homer Babbidge or your dorm room. The lecture halls and classrooms are all open for you to use, so don’t feel the need to stay crowded with a bunch of other anxious ridden students. Take your friends with you if you decide to explore. Many academic buildings have study areas you probably haven’t used, such as on the second floor of Austin, the atrium in the fine arts building or even the study area in Price Chopper is a good option.  

Take care of yourself 

There’s no way you can perform well on an exam if you don’t feel well yourself. Check up on yourself and your friends and make sure you’re still functioning like regular human beings. Final exams shouldn’t change that. Make a routine for yourself that you would normally have throughout the day: Eat your three meals (you can’t imagine how many people literally forget to eat), go to the gym, listen to some music, even watch a movie. You deserve to still enjoy your last few days on campus. Studying for too long stops being beneficial to you at one point.  


Hollie Lao is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at hollianne.lao@uconn.edu.