Roundtable: Finals tips from the Life section 

Some words of wisdom as UConn students approach finals week. Illustration by Anna Iorfino/The Daily Campus.

With final exams around the corner, doom lurks like a storm cloud above Storrs. Anxiety-induced stomachaches and inclinations toward alcoholism are just some of the symptoms students are experiencing before the worst week of the semester. 

But fear not. Here at the Life section, we take our academics very seriously (most of us, at least). Our writers offer earnest advice based on their own experiences as students, guiding you on how to survive finals with as little pain and suffering as possible. 

Karla Perez, CC 

As a freshman, most of my classes comprise of general education courses with a few core classes sprinkled here and there. Nonetheless, every class is important since they all count toward my GPA, so the pressure to do well lives on. With my transition into college, I’ve adapted a few new study habits that have improved my grades and that I think will benefit others.  

Prior to college, I depended on Quizlet heavily. I used the “write” feature and the app’s tests extensively and called that my study routine. Unfortunately, Quizlet has fallen to capitalism and my unlimited usage had to come to a halt. Fortunately, the app still allows users to create an unlimited number of flashcards. 

Now I’ve found a new way to use Quizlet as a study tool. First, I go through both my own and my professors’ notes and pull out key terms or concepts and make flashcards for them. Once that study set is completed, I handwrite the flashcard set into a notebook. This may sound unappealing, but the constant repetition actually helps me remember the content easier and quicker.  

As a communication and journalism double major, I understand that this strategy may not work for a majority of STEM majors. Regardless, I hope this technique helps someone out there. This is a very stressful time of year, so I want to remind everyone to take care of themselves and that grades don’t define you. Good luck! 

Mariia Barabanova, CC 

As a first-year marketing major, I doubt my advice would be entirely useful and applicable to most. However, I think that studying for finals — or finding the specific methods and techniques that work best for you — is a trial and error process. There are so many different learning styles out there that it takes time to figure out what works best for you.  

The most commonly known — for their efficiency — ways are definitely to read over your notes, the professor’s syllabus and announcements regarding the format of the final exam, and to complete practice worksheets and study guides (or make them yourself). Success-yielding methods of studying also vary by subject or field of study. For some things, you may need simple memorization and constant reinforcement of facts, whereas others can require developing critical thinking skills. 

My personal favorite way to study, which applies and works for most, if not all, subjects, is after I feel like I am confident in my knowledge of the content, I pretend to (or actually do!) teach the information to someone completely unfamiliar with the information. It’s a tried and true method to ensure you understand every aspect and detail of the material and is also great for revealing your own weak spots and areas for improvement. Good luck to all! 

Taevis Kolz, SW 

As a junior physics major who has made it this far, I feel at least a little bit qualified to give some advice on how to survive finals week. The first helpful tip I have is to start studying a little earlier than the day before the exam. Even if it’s only for a little bit each day, studying a few days or even a week in advance is much better than cramming the night before. It also makes you slightly less likely to be burnt out on the subject by the time the exam comes around. 

A skill that is just as important as studying is knowing when not to study. If you feel yourself getting constantly distracted, it might be helpful to take a break from studying for an hour or two. Taking time to relax and recharge will make it easier to retain information, rather than getting increasingly tired and frustrated attempting to comprehend the barely-legible lecture notes professors tend to leave.  

My final word of advice is realizing when it is time to stop studying. We all reach a point eventually where it is impossible for the brain to retain any more useful information about a subject without burning out. When that happens, you just need to let fate take the wheel and trust that everything will work out. Best of luck! 

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