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How to Survive Finals Week

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Exams, the bane of every college student’s existence. Two to three hours of your mind in a consistent state of angst, worry, and fear. They are the biggest part of our reason for being at university in the first place and while it’s easy to become enamored with all the other aspects of a university; the clubs, the parties, the people, we still need to at least try getting that degree.


A)  For the students who slack off all semester and “get serious” three weeks before exams because you probably believe the weak, excuse for your procrastination that you “work better under pressure”. Assuming that you actually did “get serious” three weeks in advance and dedicated large blocks of time to each subject, your job during finals week/s is to:
1.      Accept the procrastination and move on. Do not waste any time regretting that you wasted time this semester or hating yourself because you did not stick to the plan. The sooner you accept it, the sooner you can take the next best steps.

2.     Ensure that you keep reviewing what you taught yourself during the three weeks.  It will not remain burned into your memory because you probably just learned it yesterday. Do not assume that because you understood it, you will remember it!


3.      Do not try to learn any new things! Once exam season has started, the time for learning has stopped. Strictly revision. Stick to what you learned during those three weeks. Do not get worried when you hear your classmates discussing something that you did not learn. This was to be expected! Stay confident in the knowledge that you already have or else you will be struggling to keep it together.

4.      Know what comes easily to you and what doesn’t. Do not spend too much energy trying to master the difficult parts of your syllabus. Master the easy stuff and they will make up for shortcomings in other areas. It makes no sense that you try to master the hard stuff and you can’t answer the easy exam questions as well as you’d like to.




B)   For the students who try to stay focused all semester long and review your work regularly. You’ve probably put all this pressure on yourself to do well and have convinced yourself that “you need to be doing more” Even if all you have done is take notes in class and reviewed them when you get home, you have laid a solid foundation. Your job during finals week/s is to:

1.      Stop worrying. You have probably built this exam up in your head and are convinced that you haven’t studied enough. You probably believe that haven’t learned things that you should have already. Keep calm and know that every effort you’ve made has made a difference. Otherwise, you are putting unnecessary pressure on yourself.

2.      Get rest. You need not to keep yourself up at night trying to study things that you most likely already have. Sleep is the most important thing for you to do during finals week. Most students underestimate its value but the truth is that you are much better off when you are well rested.

3.      There is no need for any intense general reading or note making. You should really focus on Past Paper Questions. Practicing past exam papers is categorically the best way for you to put what you’ve learned to the test and help you identify what areas you might be weak in.


4.      Make time to speak to actual human beings. Talking to people will give you an energy boost to help you do the studying you need to and it is a crucial reminder for us that there is more to life than exams especially when you seem to have made your whole life revolve around them. This helps keep you calm and makes you less tense.


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