How to Prepare for Final Exams Like a Pro


With the semester almost over, final exams will be here before you know it. This time, don’t let your exams sneak up on you unawares. Leave for winter break in December with the grades of your dreams by following these easy tips.

Find a study space

Finding a study space that makes you feel comfortable is something that you can do before finals even start. Whether it’s a spot in the library, a corner at the coffee shop, or a cozy chair in the student lounge, finding a place on campus that allows you to focus uninterrupted is step number one to doing well on finals.

Taking the time early on in the semester to find the type of study space that is right for you can only work in your favor. While writing papers and preparing for quizzes throughout the semester, try sitting in places with varying levels of noise or locations that have desks and chairs versus comfy couches to understand what you like best.

Just remember to keep your study space separate from your dorm room or place where you relax.

Create practice tests and study guides

When studying for an exam, what better way to prepare than by taking practice exams? During class, you can ask your professor what type of questions you should expect or topics that are important to review. Knowing a couple of extra details about the test can make sure that you are prepared for what your professor is going to give you.

You can also go back and look at previous exams you’ve taken for the class to see what type of exams the professor has designed in the past.

Creating study guides of the material you covered over the course semester can also help you to pick out the most important details from class. It can also help you lay out all of the information in a more manageable way. For example, designing flow charts or diagrams can help you to make connections between the material that you might not have noticed in class.

Prioritize your exams

You might not want to say it, but there are classes or exams that take up more of your time to prepare for than others. Take some time to prioritize your exams to make sure you’re giving your most difficult classes the most attention.

When prioritizing, make sure you are also taking into consideration the difficulty of the exam. You may have struggled particularly hard through your medieval history class, but if it has a non-cumulative exam, you might want to focus more on your physics exam, which has information on the exam from the whole semester.

Make a study schedule and stick to it

After you’ve prioritized your exams, you can plan out when and for how long you’ll study for each one. Give yourself enough time over the weekend to study for your Monday and Tuesday exams and wait until Wednesday to start studying for your exams on Friday.

Sticking to this schedule will make sure that you’ve dedicated enough time to your studies. Don’t spend extra time studying for a class just because you found the material easy or interesting!

Study in groups

While some people hate studying in groups and prefer to work solo, studying in groups can have a lot of benefits. Working with other people allows you to share your notes and materials, which can ensure that you have all of the information you need for the exam. You never know what you might have missed while daydreaming in class.

Group sessions are also great to sort out confusion. If you don’t understand a particular topic, you’ll have several other minds around to give a different explanation than the professor. On the other hand, if someone else is confused about something that you completely understand, explaining the topic can help make sure you know what you’re talking about and can work as a great, quick review of the material.

Our Writers

Meghan is a senior at Lock Haven University with majors in English and Communication and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. When she’s not writing, Meghan can be found drinking iced coffee, reading Bustle articles, or spending too much time on Pinterest.

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