Final Exam Tips
If you couldn’t tell by the things I’ve been reposting lately, finals week has arrived. My first exam is at 8am tomorrow (wish me luck), and I wanted to share some tips and things I’ve learned over the years. Most of this applies to both college and high school, but everyone’s method is gonna be a little different. You do you boo.
This is super important. It may seem like you don’t have time to worry about these things but your body is just as important as your mind. Nurture it.
- Make your bed. Every morning. If you have to wake up early to give yourself more time, do it. Someone somewhere once said “the state of your bed is the state of your head.”
- Brush your teeth. Floss if you can. I know it’s a pain in the ass but it’s literally 2 minutes of your time.
- Put on chap-stick. Bring it everywhere, to all your exams, leave some in your car, in your pocket. It’s never fun to have chapped lips.
- Wash your face. Morning and night, depending on skin type, etc. This is super important to wash away all of the dirt, makeup, and toxins your skin is exposed to. It also helps to wake you up and get you started. And if you’re anything like me, stress breakouts are always a possibility.
- Moisturize. Your face, your arms, your legs, etc. A good facial moisturizer and body lotion can do wonders for your skin and your mood. Do a face mask too, if you really wanna pamper yourself.
- Keep your space clean. Where you sleep, where you get ready for bed, and especially where you study. This goes back to making your bed, your surroundings play an important role in your mood and state of mind.
- Eat Healthy. Don’t skip meals, your brain needs good nutrition to function. Take it easy on the sugar, you might be on a high for a little while but the crash is real.
- Drink. Water. Lots of it. I’m terrible when it comes to this, but I find that keeping a refillable water bottle on me, one that’s easy to take quick sips from, helps a lot. You need to be hydrated in order to function properly. Drink juice to help you stay awake if you’re not a fan of coffee or tea (Idk why but this really helps).
- Stay active. Keep moving, get that blood circulating. Whether it’s running, yoga, or a walk in the park, the movement is sure to clear your mind and get those endorphins kicking.
- SLEEP. 7-8 hours, ideally. No all-nighters. Don’t even think about it. I limit myself to one all-nighter a semester, and never on the night before an exam. Your brain works to learn and memorize at night, so get your rest and study in the process.Take catnaps between study sessions if you get tired during the day, but don’t sacrifice that sacred sleep for a few extra hours of studying that will haunt you the entire next day.
Now that you’re all zenned out, you can fill your brain with all that dope knowledge.
- Go to review days. Your teacher should explain what’s on the exam and what she expects of you, and if you skip you could miss out on important details like room and time. It may seem like skipping gives you more time to study, but you’ll be at a disadvantage in the end.
- Summarize. Outline/summarize/prep class content expected on the exam. Being able to summarize content and place it in an order that makes sense shows understanding, and it’ll help you figure out what you need to work on most.
- Find study stations. Coffee shops, the campus library, bookstores, diners, you name it. Study anywhere but home, at least not alone. I sometimes crash at my friend’s place and we’ll have silent study sessions, keeping each other in check.
- Use a time management tool. I use the app Forest, or the chrome extension. When you use the timer, you plant a tree or a bush and it grows until the timer is up. I like it because when I use it on my phone, I set the timer for 25 minutes and I can’t exit the app or the tree dies. On chrome, you can blacklist certain websites that distract you, and if you visit that website during your study session, the tree dies. Don’t kill trees people.
- Prioritize. What exam do you have first? How prepared are you for it? Which exam will be the hardest/are you least prepared for? Use your sessions wisely and focus on the material you don’t know as well.
- Method. What works for you? Are you an auditory learner? Record your notes and listen to them in the car or while you work out. Kinesthetic? Rewrite your notes, make models, etc. Visual? Find good pictoral representations of your content and try drawing diagrams. It’s super important to find a study method that works for you, and everyone’s is gonna be a little different.
- Come prepared. Buy pencils, scantrons, and erasers beforehand and come to your exam with everything you need (i.e. calculator). Hand lotion, chap-stick, and deep breathing are great ways to calm yourself before an exam. If you’re religious - pray, spiritual - meditate/center yourself, non of the above - have faith in yourself and your abilities.
- Dress comfy. If sweats are the way you roll, then go with it. If you feel more productive dressing a little nicer, have at it.
- Trust yourself. Stop second guessing yourself. Trust in your work. Honestly, we doubt ourselves way more than we should. Don’t underestimate yourself, love. You show that exam who’s boss.
- Celebrate. You’re done! Congrats on another exam finished, another day slayed, and another semester behind you.