July 14, 2024

Finals Week: How to handle it

The schedule for the De-Stress Fest.

Finals week is coming up which means nearly every college student is stressed. 

Between first year students taking college finals for the first time to upcoming graduates who can’t let a bad exam grade hold them back, there is no shortage of stressors. 

To help students prepare for finals, the university’s Academic Success Instagram page, @capusuccess, has provided five helpful strategies for success.

Here is a breakdown of each strategy:

1. Start now

This may be the hardest strategy for most college students. It seems procrastination only increases over students’ scholarly lives. It gets harder and harder to force yourself to work on the difficult assignment you were given.

Instead of attacking finals prep head on right away, make a to-do list. This isn’t about the actual material from your courses, but it gets your mind active and prepared.

The Academic Success page recommends breaking “cumulative exams into smaller study units, which will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and help you monitor your progress daily.”

2. Develop summaries

Now that you’ve made a to-do list, it is time to start reviewing material. 

Of course, it is not practical to go through everything all at once, so break it down. To start off your class summaries, Academic Success suggests starting with questions you didn’t know the first time. An easy way to do this is to make a set of flashcards on Quizlet of course material, go through it, and star the ones you don’t know at first. Then you can go back and review each card you starred.

After mastering the material you didn’t know at first, you can link new information to material you already knew. This will ensure you actually know the material rather than just memorizing it.

3. Test yourself

Testing yourself is one of the best ways you can see if you actually know the material well enough to succeed. It can also help you get a sense of what your grade will end up being on the final.

Different ways to test yourself include creating a quiz, going over your flashcards and teaching someone else.

It may also be beneficial to you and others if you exchange practice quizzes with another student taking the same course. Their questions may be ones you didn’t think to review and vice versa. 

4. Stay healthy

As the stress of finals increases, staying healthy may be the most difficult strategy to enact, but it is the most important.

A handful of students will believe it is better to study than to sleep, staying up until early in the morning and surviving on coffee or energy drinks. Academic Success recommends instead to get plenty of sleep, avoid drinking too much caffeine and take short breaks while studying. This will maximize your health during your finals week preparation.

5. Reach out

It is important to remember that there are Academic Coaches at the university who are happy to help you prepare for your finals. You can schedule an appointment at tutortrac.capital.edu.

It may be difficult to utilize all these strategies, but even if you can successfully use one of them, it can decrease the stress of finals.

There will also be several stress-relieving activities this week as part of programming by The Center of Health and Wellness, the “De-Stress Fest.” More information about the events can be found on Engage.


  • Charlie Rinehart

    Charlie is a first-year Creative Writing major. In his free time he enjoys drinking iced coffee and watching terrible horror movie sequels.

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