Study Tips for Finals Week

December 17, 2020
Madeline Hueske

The end of the semester is an exciting time, with just one big obstacle looming in your way... FINALS. Some are tests, others are essays or projects you’ve been working on for weeks, and some science-based classes require some sort of practical test to finish up the semester. Whatever the task, there are some tips and strategies that may help you through that last challenging week before you get a break. 

1. Find a study spot that works for you. Some people prefer a quiet room, others like windows or study buddies, and some may prefer a coffee shop. Keep track of when you do your most productive studying throughout the semester and try to replicate it when you start preparing for finals. 

2. Get yourself a good planner or other organization method. This could be a paper planner you carry with you, a digital version, or even a whiteboard or calendar you hang on the wall. College is all about time management, and it’s important to keep track of not just your classwork, but other meetings, assignments, and other events that are important throughout the semester. 

3. Make sure you have water and snacks on hand. If you come prepared, you won’t have to get up in the middle of your study session to get up and risk getting distracted. You don’t think about how much energy you’re expending while studying, but it’s important to stay hydrated and keep your blood sugar up!

4. Use resources like Quizlet, study guides, or color-coding. Sometimes those visual cues can be handy to trigger information you are trying to memorize. 

5. Take study breaks! Even if you’re being super productive, it’s important to give your brain a break and get up, stretch your legs or get some fresh air.  

6. Switch topics throughout a study session, instead of cramming for hours for one subject. It’ll help you retain the information and stay refreshed as you work through your to-do list. 

7. Teach someone what you are learning! If you can talk through the content with a friend, sibling, or someone else, you will get a much better sense for what material you know well and what you could use a little refresh on. 

8. Don’t overstudy. So many students feel the need to go over everything they learned in every class, but that’s just not necessary. There are probably entire sections of coursework that you know well and don’t need to spend much time reviewing. Take a deep breath, think about how much you already know, and then direct your energy toward the classes you’re less confident in. 

Gonzaga’s Center for Student Academic Success is a great resource to support you as you navigate your classes and coursework.