3 Tips to Survive Finals Week

If you're in college (university overseas) or graduate school, you are most likely feeling the stress of fall semester finals. I can promise you that I am right there with you! I stress, I obsess, and I study into weird hours of the night, or is it early morning? Anyway, I can relate. We all want to end the semester with decent GPAs, or save your GPA if you've not been doing so hot this semester, by smashing the final exam. You're in luck as I'm going to share 3 tips on how to survive finals week without the use of drugs, alcohol, or any harmful means! 

  • Study properly

I know so many people that just cram the night or morning before an exam. This is the best way to up your stress level and doesn't give you the desired test score, not usually anyway. The amount of studying that is required per exam depends on how much you remember from class, homework, and projects or papers. If you can remember quite a bit on what will be on the final then your studying can be moderate and on the light side. However, you need to begin at least two days before your exam to ensure your brain stores the information properly. 

Some people need to speak out loud to retain the information while others need flashcards or to write the information down repeatedly. Know how you remember and study what works for you. Depending on the course material, I find myself retaining information best when I study within a group rather than alone. I have also noticed that studying, taking a break to workout or shower or do something that has nothing to do with studying, and then going back to studying allows your brain to collect and retain the information better than a four hour straight study session. I've also noticed napping helps with remembering information and studying since you'll find it hard to make sense of course material if you're constantly yawning and falling asleep. 

  • Sleep!

We live in a world where we are never in bed before midnight and try to sleep in until at least eight in the morning. I understand, I am the same way, but you can't rely on horrible sleeping patterns to get you through! If you have the luxury, as previously stated, take a nap in the middle of your day. It has been scientifically proven that a 30-45 minute nap increases functionality by at least 30%. In simple terms, you'll be much better focused and relaxed to study and pass that exam! I try to have a minimum of 7 hours of sleep before each day of finals so that my mind is alert and I'm not falling asleep while filling out my scantron. I watched a girl in my class that filled out her scantron completely wrong and had to go back to fix all 70 problems because she wasn't paying attention due to lack of sleep. Don't be that person, your time is precious, do not waste it! 

  • Eat!

Much like sleep and study habits, eating habits fall apart around finals. I know, I had Chinese food two nights ago when I was supposed to be back to eating "strictly healthy." The fact remains, however, that you need to eat and eat at least semi-healthy foods. Carbs are an easy go to but mix in green veggies or salad and some type of meat or protein! Your body needs balanced fuel so try to give it that, especially when you want to perform well. Make sure you eat before you morning exam or afternoon exam, no one likes thinking about their growling stomach when they are trying to write a fantastic essay on crisis communications, right? Right! 

So in essence, studying properly, sleeping right, napping if you can, and eating properly are the three major tips to surviving finals week. Good luck on all your final projects, papers, presentations, and exams! May the curve be in your favor.