| 03.17.2018

Survival tips for finals


Don’t let end-of-course exams bring you down

The sounds of murdered social lives are haunting ears across Moscow and they can only mean one thing: finals.

It’s a time for mass hysteria, mental breakdowns and falling asleep over stacks of textbooks. Luckily, there are quick tips to make life easier while slaving away over countless study guides.

Stay healthy

Avoid detrimental behaviors, if possible. This means no all-nighters, no caffeine or any other habits that create stress. Obviously, this is much easier said than done. Regardless, the human brain isn’t at its sharpest when it’s busy trying to stay awake after less than two hours of sleep. When caffeinating, try to drink coffee or tea instead of energy drinks and soft drinks. It’s better to drink something natural than to indulge in hundreds of grams of added sugar and other sweeteners.

Aly Soto | Rawr

Aly Soto | Rawr

Time management

A crucial step to succeeding with finals is to manage time appropriately. Don’t procrastinate until the night before a test to start studying. Schedules for finals have been posted since the first day of the semester. There’s no room for excuses!

Breaking up days of the week to dedicate certain times to certain subjects is helpful as well. Preparing for several tests at once can be daunting, but figuring out what and to study and when to do it is incredibly helpful.


Efficient study habits are a big part of doing well in finals. Find a quiet spot to hide away in, like an apartment or the library.

Finding what works on a personal level is key, too. Some people do well with flash cards, others do better with outlines. No two brains work alike, so figure out what works best and act on it.

Taking breaks is important as well. Get up and go to the bathroom or make a phone call every 30 minutes to avoid fatigue.

Know the test

While it may seem obvious, it’s important to know what will be on the final. Final exams could be comprehensive or they could be based on a particular unit. Some are multiple choice, while others come in essay form. Most professors give out review guides, so be sure to know those from front to back. Outlining a review guide, or even an entire curriculum, can make all the difference.

Finals aren’t fun at all, but they’re not going away. Use these tips to prepare ahead of time and watch those final grades shoot up after acing every test.

Masen Matthews can be reached at arg-arts@uidaho.edu

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