How to Plan for Finals the Right Way
If you’re looking to survive finals season, remember this: fortune favors the prepared mind.
You can take control of your educational success during finals season by instituting a solid plan for studying success. Think scheduled breaks, dedicated study times with no interruptions, and attending a study session (online or off) with your fellow students.
If your anxiety alarm bells are going off, silence them with the following knowledge:
You have the tools in your toolbox to be successful during finals. Test time may be nerve-wracking, but you’ve worked hard all for months to do well now.
Needless stress takes away valuable mental energy that you should be directing toward a final mastering of your course material.
Whether your mind is organized or you’re a scatterbrained mess, follow these tips to help make your finals season as stress-free as possible:
If You’re A Planner
- Visualize Your Calendar
Collect your syllabi and plan out your hours. Studying, sleeping, relaxing, and testing should all get their blocks of time. Color coding is the mark of an over-organized mind, but do what you must to get a visual picture of your finals week.
- Micromanage Yourself
If you’re a planner, congratulations! Finals time could be your shining moment. You will reap rewards for micromanaging yourself, none the least of which will be great grades. Log out of Facebook, don’t be afraid of Airplane Mode, and only play Draw Something on scheduled study breaks. If you excel at planning, minimizing distractions will lead to efficient study efforts.
- Check and Double Check
One of your talents is working well within a structure. Allow yourself to eschew test anxieties by constantly reviewing — not revising — your end-of-year plan. Go ahead — be as persnickety as you like, and take confidence that you’ve forgotten nothing and once again planned for success.
If You’re Not A Planner
- Get Organized
OK, so you’re a mess. This is not the week to get your life in order, but it is high time to impose a little structure. Get and stay as organized as you can for optimum finals success. First, make sure the tools of your trade (laptops, Moleskins, Trapper Keepers) are in good working order. Second, get a working calendar that’s easily accessible to you. If you’re not good at making calendars, set alarms on your phone. Be as creative as you need to be. There are lots of resources available to you, and it’s possible to be fake organized for at least a week.
- Master The Material
Now you’ve got a calendar. The best thing to do next? Just plain ol’ get ready. When you’ve got a lot on your plate and you’re not a natural planner, your best bet is to simply master the material. You’ve probably got a better capacity for testing than you do showing up on time for testing, and that’s absolutely OK. Use your brains to your advantage during finals time. And I was serious about setting alarms on your phone.
- Don’t Second-Guess Yourself
Make your plan. Stick to your plan. Master the material. Take the test. Relax. If you’re not a planner, you’re probably led by your intuition. You’re more apt to go with your gut than a systematic mind. Embrace this advantage during finals time! You know what you need to do — you can feel it. So keep your eyes on the prize, and muscle through until the end. Your gut and grades will thank you!
Lawyerist: How To Create A Plan for Finals
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The Successfulist: 21 Ways to Improve Your Final Exam Grade