Advice for Finals


As finals approach and time seems to be of the essence, many of us War Hawks tend to overstress these final two weeks of school. As a fourth-year senior student, I’ve learned the do’s and do not’s regarding finals.

First of all, you want to make sure that you have a finals schedule and you know when and what time you will be taking you finals. Finals schedules are available online or as a hard copy in the library. Once you have found out when your finals are, get organized.

Many of us (including myself) have the tendency to procrastinate and to put things off until the end. Of course, this is normal for majority of college students and is the main cause for our stress at the end of the semester. However, dead week and finals week are the chances to catch up and actually take the time to review what you have learned for the semester.

As you are preparing for finals, make sure you know what you will be studying and how. If you have papers to write, gather all your research ahead of time and start working on your papers day-by-day. Consequently, you won’t be up until 3 AM writing Red Bull or coffee infuced research papers.

 If you have a comprehensive final for that difficult chemistry class or political science course, do yourself a favor, gather your notes, and study ahead of time. This may sound repetitive, but time is the essential factor during this hectic time. It’s important that for a comprehensive final you carefully review the terms and have an acute sense of the topics at hand. Creating note cards or study guides always help. Actually reading your textbook will also serve beneficial to your success in finals

 Be careful with classes in which you have deadlines earlier than your projected final. Some professors prefer to use the last week of school as their period for finals or for turning in papers. It is also vital that you maintain a good relationship with your professors. Make sure you are aware of your professor’s office hours and take advantage of them. Majority of professors will be happy to help, unless you haven’t showed up to class and are begging to be passed with only a week left (never do this; professors will hate you).

If you are too embarrassed to see your professor, the Academic Enrichment Center (AEC) is open Sunday through Friday and is always willing to help. Tutors are available from 8 AM- 12 PM, 1 PM-5PM, and 6 PM-10 PM. There are math tutors, writing tutors, science tutors, Spanish tutors, and most of the tutors can you help you out with almost anything. It’s a free service, too, so don’t be ashamed to ask for help from a fellow student of yours!

 If you have a group project as a final, make sure you are meeting with your group regularly and are making sure you give the best effort to get the best grade. Yes, there’s always that one person that never does anything, but this is the time to be selfish and get credit for the work you’ve done and not help out anyone else. After all, the education is for your benefit and not to benefit someone who isn’t learning anything.

 If you’re getting too stressed out about studying or an upcoming twelve page research papers, take a breath. This time is stressful for all of us and it can all seem very overwhelming. One of the key factors causing procrastination is the fear of so much to do in so little time.

This is why time is very important. If you give yourself enough time to study, finish your papers on time, and not rush through studying, you’ll be able to breathe easier during finals week. Preparation and organization are the keys to having a successful semester; and, the sooner we all learn to give ourselves time and not put everything off until the end, the better off it will be for us.

 So, this finals period, make sure that you are prepared, organized, and focused. Aside from these three key elements, make sure to breathe and give yourself some leisure time. After all, all work and no play make Jack a dull boy. If you don’t want to be insane by Christmas, do yourself the favor by doing your very best this final period so your break is peaceful and well-deserved.

 Good luck, War Hawks!