Preparing for Finals

The end of the semester is right around the corner. While you’re probably figuring out how to balance the quizzes, tests, and projects that are due before the semester ends, it’s easy to get caught up in a frenzy. In the midst of all this activity, make room to prepare for finals. How does that happen when you’re doing so much, you ask. Here are a few tips to get you on track.


You can start by confirming what material will be covered on the exam and begin creating your study guide based on that. For each topic that will be covered, go back and retake every quiz and test on that topic. When I say re-take, I don’t mean look over it and identify where you made your mistakes. When you retake assessments, complete it under the same time frame and conditions (i.e. no music/streaming, no study aids, work it in its entirety before checking answers, etc.)


Better yet, review any quizzes or tests where you made less than your goal course grade with your professor or TA to get assistance. That means if your goal for a course is a B, take any quiz or test where you received a score lower than B to office hours or the help room. If office hours and help rooms do not work with your schedule, first email your professor or TA to explain the conflict and inquire about their availability at other times. You never know until you ask. Once you get the assistance, attempt to complete the work again, and go through the solutions with others.


Speaking of others, lean on your study group. Hopefully you have one at this point in the semester, but if not, don’t fret. It’s not too late to create a study group from people taking the course, whether they are in your section or not. If you know people in your class, start there. Otherwise, pay attention to who asks and answers questions in your class. That person may make for a good study partner. You can also ask friends who are taking the course in another section. The cool thing about being a freshman is that many of your general courses are being taken by friends who may be in different majors.


Now that you have a few starters for finals prep, it’s time to take action. Preparing for finals may require different strategies than for individual tests, especially if it’s cumulative, but that’s okay. You have a semester of notes, completed assignments, and little more time to use the assistance available on campus. Make this first set of finals the best.

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