Study Overview: Pre-Final Exams

As of college, I would like to describe myself as a good student. I have never turned in an assignment late, I haven’t procrastinated more than giving myself at least 24 hours to do an assignment at the latest, and I genuinely care about the outcome of my grades as well as how much information is valuable to me outside of the class and can be applied to the real world.

A lot of college students do not care about their GPA because “companies don’t care” well, what if they do? and if they don’t, why not have the whole package on your resume anyway? I am all for being prepared and being qualified in every area no matter what I am doing, sometimes that won’t be enough or it won’t be important to what I am doing, but at least it’s there.

I like to start preparing for finals early because at the end of the semester there is Thanksgiving break, incoming winter break, Holiday parties, cold days and just an honest lack of motivation on my side. By starting early I feel incredibly prepared by the time finals come around that I can take that cozy day off or go to a white elephant party instead of locking myself inside because I have to pull an all-nighter. Life is much more fun when you’re prepared.

  1. Start small: make a Google calendar or print a blank calendar and put your final exam dates and times on it. Set alarms on your phone for it. Know those dates and times by heart so you are not late.
  2. Two weeks out:You now have your dates set and you know them. Hopefully, you are doing this about a month before exams start so you have at least two weeks to start studying. Two weeks, I feel, is a good amount of time for any subject. Hopefully, you have been studying for exam before this and either have some knowledge about what you’re being tested on or study materials already. Take the first week and use 1-2 hours every single day to make master study guides for your classes. Vocab, critical questions, explanations on topics you haven’t completely grasped yet.
  3. Study: After the first week you should have master study guides for each class you are taking an exam in. Review those study guides every day. Practice things you struggle with at least 5 times. Have someone quiz you. Don’t do this all in one go or study for too long. Burn out will make you do worse than not studying at all.
  4. Day of: Make sure you got a good night’s sleep the night before and ate well during the day, never underestimate the power of a good meal and good sleep. Study very little before the exam, if you don’t know it, you don’t know it. I have made the mistake of scrambling to get a few more details in right before I take the exam and it makes me flustered and does more harm than good.
  5. You’ve got this: You are smart, capable, and you can do this. Some exams seem daunting and like they will ruin your life if you don’t pass. Go into the exam knowing you did all you could, studied as much as possible, and the grade you get is the grade you deserve, which is hopefully a passing one. Do more now so you don’t look back and feel terrible because you wonder that if you had studied more would you have done better?


These are just little tips and my broad study schedule for the beginning of finals season. Good luck and happy studying!

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