finals week

The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Finals Week (And Acing Your Exams)

It’s the end of the term–and all that work is staring at you.

It’s overwhelming. It’s like those nightmares you have where you need to shout for help but your voice is trapped in your throat.

If you’re feeling completely snowed under by all the studying and projects you have to finish, you’re not alone. But there is a way to get through it all. It’s just a small matter of organization and willpower.

It’s more than possible to get through finals week and not only ace it but keep your sanity, as well. In this post, we will show you a few helpful tips to get yourself through it all and make your finals week more manageable.

Organize for Finals Week

First, make a list. Write down all the projects and exams you need to focus on and list them in order of importance. Also, list them in the order they’re due so you can see them clearly.

Once all the exams and projects are listed, you will be able to organize them. It will seem less overwhelming when they are all laid out in front of you. It also makes it easier to finish them all.

Worst First

For projects that are due, start with your least favorite. That way you get it finished and it will be off your mind. We tend to worry about certain projects, so get those off the list first.

It is amazing how much better you will feel to have the biggest (or the hardest) projects finished first. The rest will seem much easier.

Vary the Work

Schedule your studying in sections. Varying the work will keep it more interesting and not bog you down with one subject. Schedule a certain amount of time for each topic and take a small break between each one.

Keeping it fresh will allow you to retain more information and not get saturated from one topic. Taking a small breather between subjects will make it easier for you to move to the next one.

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Prepare to Study

Get yourself all set up to study. When you plan and organize everything, it goes a lot easier and a lot faster.

If you take online classes, you probably already have this set up, but you need a space you use to study and do your homework. Try to use the same space all the time. If you don’t have a desk, set up a study space on the table. Using the same space becomes familiar to you and makes it easier to focus.

Have everything at hand. This will keep you on track and stop you from getting up to get things. It’s too easy to become distracted when you need to leave the study space for things.

This means all the tools you need for the project or the books and items needed to study. Include your beverages and snacks here, as well. Getting up from your work for a cup of coffee can lead to more distractions. You need to stay focused.

Turn off Devices

Shut off the phone and only use the internet for studying purposes. Your phone is a huge distraction. One notification from Twitter and two hours later you’re still watching a cat play the piano!

If you listen to music while you study, try to find something that doesn’t have lyrics. One minute you are studying, then all of a sudden you are a karaoke star. Turn off the television, too, as that is a massive distraction.

Take Breaks

Allow yourself some breaks. Study one subject, then take a break before tackling the next one.

Take a few minutes and stretch your body. This will loosen you up and give you more energy. Try meditation for a few minutes to clear your mind and relax.

Check your phone and email for anything important. Allow yourself a few minutes on social media (set a timer if you need to), just to reassure yourself you haven’t missed anything important. *Spoiler Alert* You haven’t.

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Take a quick walk around the block, walk the dog, or pop out to the corner store for a treat. Just a bit of fresh air and some movement will give you the energy to move to the next topic.

Reward Yourself

You deserve a pat on the back. Allow yourself some rewards for work well done.

It works well as a motivator, too. Once you finish a certain project, you get to take an hour off to catch up on your favorite program.

It’s important to schedule these and keep your break to the time you allow. It’s too easy to start binge-watching your programs and forget all about your work. Set an alarm to remind you it’s time to get back to work.

Allow yourself a night out during final week too. Make this part of your schedule, that way you will have something to look forward to. It could be an afternoon matinee, dinner with your friends, or date night with your special someone.

Having some free time in your schedule will help you study, as you will not feel like you are missing anything. You get all your work done and you get a fun night, as well. You’ll get it out of your system–and that will help you focus.

Study Buddy

Get a friend from class to study with you, or join a study group. This can be a great way to keep you on schedule and get the work done.

It’s also helpful to have someone to ask for help, bounce ideas off of, and keep you focused on the work.

Just Breathe

Keep your cool. Finals week is a test of your strengths, but you will get through it.

Planning, a cool head, patience and be kind to yourself throughout. You have worked hard all year–you will get through the last week.

Stay focused, have a plan, and be determined. You can get through it and not lose your mind!

Here are a few more tips to help you get through finals week.