Final Exam Tips: Do’s and Dont’s

Finals Week Star Wars Graphic

Finals Week Star Wars Graphic

By Len Beczko, Staff Writer

Finals are coming up fast, which means less sleep and more studying for many of us. Stressing about finals can get pretty rough, especially for freshmen who probably have never taken them before. Here are some final exam do’s and don’ts to help you ace your exams.

Don’t study all night beforehand. The lack of sleep will actually make your brain foggier, and you are more likely to forget everything before the test if you try and squeeze in some last-minute studying at night. Also, don’t rely on a curve because if you fail, a curve likely won’t be able to bring your grade all the way back up.

Do complete a quick review of the most important material and get a good night’s sleep. A good night’s sleep will make sure you are ready and focused for the final. That being said, don’t just avoid studying altogether; it’s still necessary to study beforehand. 

Don’t just skip breakfast. This will cause your brain to feel very sluggish and unmotivated. However, don’t eat a super sugary breakfast either, as this will also negatively affect you.

Do eat something healthy to stimulate your brain, in order to make sure you are in tip-top shape for taking your finals. Bring a healthy snack to school for breaks in between your exams to keep yourself from being distracted by an empty stomach.

Don’t get there just barely on time, or worse, late. This is a serious no-go. Missing your test is the worst thing you can do, so make sure not to make this rookie mistake. Even if you just barely make it, you’ve lost valuable review time, which could’ve helped.

Do make sure you are ready in the room; you will be taking the final by being there early. Use this time to do a quick review of the material beforehand, instead of just sitting on your phone or chatting. The quick review beforehand could prove to be very helpful while taking the final.

Don’t ignore the review materials given to you by your teacher. These are made to help you and to make sure you know the material that will be on the final. 

Do any practice tests or problems, and reread your notes to be fully prepared for the final. Also, attend any study sessions hosted by your teacher or peers, and pop into the Lit Center for explanations on things you don’t understand or just simple reviews. You can never be too prepared.

Don’t get super stressed. This will put your brain into a state of panic, and it will be harder to concentrate on your final. Nerves are normal, but try to relax and remember that as long as you studied, the final will reflect that. 

Do try to calm down and breathe, and make sure you are calm when you begin your final. In that way, your brain will be focused, and you’ll be able to take your test calmly. Maybe even bring a stress ball to squeeze or something to fidget with to get out all the nerves before the test.

And finally, don’t cheat. This is academic dishonesty, and if you’re caught, it will result in a zero as your final grade. Rely on your own knowledge of whatever subject you are testing for, instead of your peers. If you didn’t study, you’ll know for next time to do so.

The most important thing is to study enough so that you are prepared, but not so much that you lose sleep. And remember, if you study, the final will reflect that, as long as you stay calm. Good luck to everyone!