The Ultimate Guide to Finals.

Is it just me or does the end of the semester sneak up on us so quickly? While I’d like to be dreaming of sunny days on the river and reuniting with old friend in my hometown, I know that there is one huge hurdle that I need to pass before I am home free: Finals.

I’ve mentioned before how I actually sort of enjoy studying, and I have gotten pretty good at it. With finals being a universal battle all college students must face, I thought that I would offer you some of my favorite tips on how to make studying for finals a breeze.



Find your study place.

If you’re in a distracting environment you’re not going to be able to focus. Find a place where you can give your studies your undivided attention. For me this place is on the second floor of my school’s graduate library, but others prefer the buzz of a café or an empty classroom in one of their school’s buildings.

Places to avoid:

  • Your dorm room – too many distractions!
  • Anywhere with friends – unless you have crazy self control!
  • The dining halls – you don’t want to be focused on studying only to be kicked out due to their weird hours!

Stay awake.

Normally I am not one to caffeinate, but for finals I will make an exception. There are a few rules I like to follow to limit my consumption (the more you drink, the more you’ll have to drink to have an impact!)

  • If you’re just a little sleepy, go for caffeinated tea. It’ll keep you awake without giving you the jitters!
  • Decaf works as a fantastic placebo for a lot of people, it’s worth a shot!
  • If you drink coffee and feel jittery afterwards, chug water! It’ll help you feel better, quicker.

There are studies that show taking short naps will boost your productivity by a ton – so if you’re feeling worn out, let yourself take a 20 minute power nap so you can wake up and feel refreshed and ready to finish strong!

Stay Focused.

Staying focused is so hard for me, and I’m sure plenty of you can relate. I am a huge procrastinator and I am guilty of searching for any distraction I can find. With that said, I’ve learned to practice discipline and this is something I am improving on and I want to share my best tips for focusin!

  • Turn your phone on airplane mode – without data or wifi, you aren’t going to be interrupted by notifications, giving you the opportunity to stay completely focused.
  • Listen to background noise – my favorite is Rainy Mood and Pandora’s ‘Classical Music for Studying Station’
  • Keep a snack, water, and jacket at hand. If you get hungry, thirsty, or cold, you won’t even have to leave your seat to make yourself more comfortable!

Study right.

I have a ton of posts full of studying tips, because I was shocked when I came to college and realized I actually didn’t know how to study. In high school I did fine just remembering the information from class, but with so much more content in college, that was simply impossible. While you can check one of these posts on how to study in college, let me give you some pointers on how not to study.

  • Highlighting does nothing for you if you’re not going back to review the information. Don’t highlight and move on – instead highlight what you don’t know and go back to it later to copy down. This is going to help commit it to memory!
  • Mix your flashcards up – you can memorize the definitions of a vocabulary word, but often times you can’t put that same vocabulary word to the definition. Study both sides of your cards!
  • Unless you were explicitly told otherwise – focus more on lecture notes than the textbooks. The information should overlap and the professor will emphasise the most important topics.

I know it might seem like finals are still a long ways away, but trust me when I say that the end of the semester flies and exams will be here before you know it! Make sure to be prepared by brushing up on the material all semester long rather than just cramming at the end. Good luck on finals, everybody!