dcsimg
You are here:

The Exam Apocalypse: How to survive finals

The Final Exam Apocalypse is coming! It feels that way sometimes, and you may feel you need a survival guide to weather final exams. However, fighting your way through finals is not nearly as hard as fighting off a horde of zombies! You can follow a few simple rules that may help you sail through finals without sacrificing your health or sanity.


Rule 1: The time to prepare for finals is the first day of class.GetDegrees.com: How to Survive Finals

You heard that right; start preparing for finals on the first day and you may have a much more comfortable final exam experience knowing you have studied. There are several reasons for this strategy. For one, many classes allow you to exempt finals if your grade point average and attendance are good. By planning to be in class every session and keeping your grades up, you may not have to take finals. Also handed out on the first day of class is your syllabus—the key to your final exam. The syllabus outlines the expectations for the course. From time to time you should review your syllabus and its objectives; this can be a great way to outline possible study questions for your final review.

Finally, studying throughout the semester is always better than cramming. In some cases, cramming can even be counterproductive found from a study out of the University of California, Berkeley stating that “steady absorption that’s key to long-term learning”. If you space out your studies to review, take in new material, and review again in measured increments, you are more likely to remember material for your final exam—and beyond.

Rule 2: Plan to study for finals at least one week in advance.

Two weeks is actually a more manageable goal for many, giving you ample time to review and associate detailed concepts to overall themes. Review overlapping sections each day; in other words, review some of the previous day’s material before you start on the next section. This will help you focus your mind on what you already know, which is the key to unlocking memory.

Rule 3: Thrive and survive! Take care of your health.

While you may need to engage in protracted study sessions, skimping on your health will not make you study harder or better. Every few hours, take a break, go for a walk, do some yoga, or engage in some other physical activity to counterbalance your mental hard work. Eat reasonable, frequent meals; gorging on pizza will make you feel bloated and sleepy, which aren’t exactly conducive to good studying. Instead, eat five or six times a day and plan small meals of fruit, cheese, lean meats, soups, whole grains, and other healthy foods. These can help you avoid spikes or drops in your blood sugar level.

Additionally, be sure to get plenty of sleep. No matter how much you need to study, skimping on sleep is not going to help your grades. A study out of the University of Alabama found that getting enough sleep is “crucial for memory consolidation and retention” and that “overnight studiers (or crammers) don’t have the benefit of that consolidation, so they will retain less information when it comes time to taking the test the next day.”  Meaning, you can undo the benefits of hours of study by showing up at a final exam groggy and sleep-deprived.

Rule 4: Review essays and take-home finals several times before you turn them in.

If you rush through a take-home or essay final, you are likely to make mistakes. Instead of being in such a rush, take the time to review your work carefully. This means working every day on a section of your exam rather than trying to finish it all in one night. Each day, review the previous day’s work before starting on another section. Reserve a day or two prior to turning in your essay so that you can review the final product in one piece.

Rule 5: Alternate study topics.

Spending too much time on one topic eventually saturates your brain and makes it difficult to concentrate. Just switching from history to math can give your brain a jolt, so try setting a study time limit for each subject. When that time limit is reached, move on to another subject. You can come back to the original subject after a few hours if you wish, and continue this alternating pattern as long as you need to cover the material.

Follow the rules to avoid the Final Exam Apocalypse. The idea is not simply to survive your finals, but to ace them in style!

Chad Fisher is an education enthusiast with a passion for building education and career-oriented websites to help people learn more about careers that interest them. Lately his desire has been helping people start a career in Civil Engineering. Learn more about Engineering at CivilEngineeringCareers.org

Similar articles you may like:

-          Must Have Apps to Get You Through College

-          How to Cite Web Sources

-          How to Get an Extension from a Professor

-          Mixed Musical Messages [Infographic] - OnlineSchools.com

Search Schools

      
Matching School Ads
  • National American University - Roueche Graduate Center

    The goal of earning a master’s degree should be defined by you, not by your circumstances. No matter which path you’ve chosen, a graduate degree can help you advance with your current organization, explore opportunities with a new company, or even start fresh in a new industry. When you earn your master's degree, you’re opening new opportunities for career development that can make a difference for you and your family. Through flexible class scheduling, dedicated career advisors and quality programs, NAU strives to provide a caring and supportive learning environment to ensure your success as a student.

    Programs

    • Master of Business Administration, Aviation Management
    • Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Education
    • Master of Science in Nursing - Care Coordination
    • More...

    Location: Online

    National American University - Roueche Graduate Center Request Info »
  • University of Arizona

    Located in the breathtaking Sonoran desert of southern Arizona and within an international border region, The University of Arizona is consistently ranked as a top public research university, offering graduate degrees in more than one hundred fields and is widely recognized for its cutting-edge research and innovation.

    Programs

    • Master of Public Health Online
    Location:
    Tucson: , Tucson AZ 85721
    University of Arizona Request Info »
  • Portland State University

    Complete Your Bachelor's Degree 100% Online

    Programs

    • BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice
    Location:
    Portland: 1825 SW Broadway,, Portland OR 97201
    Portland State University Request Info »
  • Purdue University

    Purdue University offers a strong foundation of tradition and history.

    Programs

    • Master of Science in Communication
    • Master of Science in Education in Special Education
    • Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Purdue University Request Info »
  • Our Lady of the Lake University

    Our Lady of the Lake University is a private, Catholic university with a deep connection to the history and community of San Antonio.

    Programs

    • Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree

    Location: Online

    Our Lady of the Lake University Request Info »
  • Accounting Academy

    The Accounting Academy was founded in 2005 and has been continuously approved to operate by the California Bureau for Private-Pstsecondary Education. 

     

    Programs

    • Basic Computer and Microsoft Office Skills
    • Accounting and Bookkeeping
    Location:
    San Diego: 7283 Engineer Rd, San Diego CA 92111
    Accounting Academy Request Info »
  • Abilene Christian University - Online

    Abilene Christian University (ACU), founded in 1906 and affiliated with the Church of Christ, has a long and proud heritage dedicated to educating students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. Instructors teach students how to think critically and globally in each of their respective programs, while still maintaining a focus on their particular program of study. ACU is an academically notable institution top ranked by U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges", as well as The Princeton Review and Forbes.

    Programs

    • Master of Education in Higher Education
    Location:
    Abilene: 1600 Campus Ct,, Abilene TX 79601
    Abilene Christian University - Online Request Info »
  • Widener University

    Why Choose Widener University?

    At Widener University, we proudly cultivate challenging and culturally diverse learning environments where academics, leadership, and service come first. Our curricula are connected to societal issues and challenge students to take social responsibility for their role in today's global society.

    Programs

    • Masters of Social Work

    Location: Online

    Widener University Request Info »
  • Animal Behavior College

    Interested in a career as a professional dog trainer? Animal Behavior College is the place to start.

    Programs

    • Veterinary Assistant
    • Certified Dog Trainer Instructor Course
    • Grooming Instruction

    Location: Online

    Animal Behavior College Request Info »
  • Stratford Career Institute

    Earn Your Diploma from Home!

    Programs

    • Drug & Alcohol Treatment Specialist
    • Funeral Service Education
    • French as a Second Language
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Stratford Career Institute Request Info »
  • Matching School Ads

    Quick School Search

    College & Career Search Tools

    • Careers: Unsure about your career path? Study profiles of hundreds of professions.

    • Interviews: Professors and deans sit down with our team to give you unique insights on college life.

    • Military Education: Find only Military friendly online schools and campuses.

    • Student Reviews: Know before you go. Read student reviews on over 2000 accredited colleges. Write your own experience.