It can seem like an impossible task to take on your finals during the holiday season. There is so much to do between holiday parties and family traditions. How do you also find time to do well on your final exams? The key is to start now. Below are some tips to help you develop your personalized strategy.
- Know the format and content of the final.
Look at each class syllabus to discover if your final will be an exam, paper or project. Also, make note of the content that will be covered on your final. Is it cumulative or just the information covered since the midterm? If you need further clarification on the format or content on your final, now is the time to ask your professor.
- Determine the amount of time you need to dedicate to your final exam or project.
Now that you know the format and content of your final exam, assess your current knowledge level so you can focus your time on the content areas you feel less confident about. Not every class is going to need the same amount of study time. Once you have identified your study focus areas determine how can you increase your knowledge in these areas? Do you need a study group? Do you need time with your professor.
- Identify resources to help you.
You are not alone in your quest to do well on your finals. Professors often provide practice problems or review sessions. For papers, university librarians are helpful with research and a campus writing center can help you with editing. Don’t forget friends and family too. They can help quiz you or edit papers too.
- Count backwards (and add a few days!).
You are now ready to put your plan into action. Count backwards from each final to determine when you need to start preparations. It is also helpful to add a few days so that you don’t feel rushed and you can be prepared if an unexpected event interrupts your study plan.
- Block time on your schedule for finals preparation.
Take the opportunity to block your calendar now for the time you will need for your finals preparations. Be realistic. If you have holiday parties or family traditions that you want to enjoy, plan around them. Also, don’t forget about self-care. Plan ahead to insert some activities that will give you the rest you need to continue your hard work during this busy season.
- Stick to your plan.
This may be the most difficult part. Practice saying “no, thanks” to the impromptu or last minute invites. Lean on your support system to keep you accountable to your plan. And if you get off plan, just get back on! It’s never too late or too far gone to prepare for your finals.
The holiday season may add more fun to your calendar but it doesn’t need to be an excuse for poor performance on your finals. Plan ahead and you can celebrate both the holidays and acing your finals! For help creating your finals preparation strategy, reach out to your AthLife Advisor today.