Quick Tips for Finals

Finals Week is almost here. Help yourself ace the exams by utilizing these top methods and tips for study prep.

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Quick Tips for Finals

Maleah Downton, Editorial Editor


Finals Week starts next Monday, Dec. 17. World Languages finals will be at 8:00 a.m. on Dec. 17, followed by History finals at 11:00 a.m. The next day, Dec. 18, all Math finals will take place at 8:00 a.m. with Holocaust Studies, Personal Finance and Sociology exams at 11:00 a.m. English finals are at 8:00 a.m. Dec. 19 with Science following at 11:00. Seniors may be able to exempt finals if they meet certain qualifications but must turn their exemption forms in by 4:00 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14.

As finals rapidly approach, the long hours of studying commence. However, there is not one unified form of studying. Methods vary from student to student. As the prep begins, here are five tips to help you along the way.


The finals binder is by far the most infamous form of studying. Required of all freshmen, the finals binder serves as a way to gather all tests and worksheets from over the semester and collect them in one extensive, organized binder. With this method, students compose original study guides for each class. As tedious as this task is, through the process of creating the study guides, students review the information and gather a good concept of the material.

“It helps me have all of my work in one place,” freshman Reddalin Mcfall said. “It’s easier to keep track.”

To organize the binder, divide each class with dividers. If preferred, you can also color code each class. The goal is for everything to be in a structured and organized manner. Once dividers are placed, input tests and quizzes for each class along with worksheets and notes (anything you would deem useful in studying). To separate tests from worksheets use sticky notes or paper clips. Personal study guides should be placed in sheet protectors to differentiate from the other papers. One good thing about the finals binder is that you can put your own twist to it; you can mold it to be accustomed to what you prefer. Going into junior year, junior Inaya Khan continues to use the finals binder in her study prep.

“It’s nice to have all of you notes in one place,” Khan said. “This way you don’t have to carry around every single binder or notebook.”


Another essential step in preparing for finals is creating a study schedule. With this, students hold themselves accountable for when and how long they study. Designating certain times for studying provides a solid outline of what needs to be done and also offers an opportunity to prioritize what classes need the most attention. For example, if a student has an A+ in English, but has been struggling in math, when creating a study schedule they can designate and set aside extra time to focus on studying for their math final. Junior Ceresa Munjak-Khoury schedules each day before a final and specifies what she will work on.

“So when I have two finals the next day and five hours, for two and a half hours I will just study Spanish,” Munjak-Khoury said. “For the next two and half hours, I’ll only work on science.”

To create a study schedule, look at a calendar and count out how many days you have left to finals. Then, create a list of all that you feel you need to do to sufficiently prepare for finals. After creating the list, assign time frames for how long each activity will take. With this complete, assign tasks to each day and time frames of studying leading up to finals. Having a study schedule helps in setting a clear action plan while eliminating any possible confusion.


A great additional method to adopt when studying for finals is forming a study group. Meeting with other classmates to discuss the material and provide help to each other is beneficial. Study groups are an effective method of studying as they offer an opportunity for students to truly absorb the material, according to Washington University’s study. With working in a group, the collaborative environment helps students in grasping a stronger understanding of the concept as they can hear the ideas from their peers. Juniors Maya Scott and Tehya Frederick meet the weekend before finals week every semester to prepare.

“We are able to bounce ideas off of each other,” Scott said. “It helps in covering everything. I would forget about something and she would help me remember.”


A simple, yet useful way to prepare for finals is to retake old tests and quizzes. This is extremely useful as with the test; students already have direct access as to what they can expect to be covered on the exam. Through retaking these past tests and quizzes, students can see where they are at and what else they need to review. Frederick prefers to review old tests and quizzes before her finals.

“I read over them just so I know some of the questions teachers will be asking on the final,” Frederick said. “Sometimes teachers put questions that were already used on tests on finals, so it just makes it easier.”

To go beyond simply retaking the test or quiz, students can identify the types of problems and big concepts within the test. Through doing this, students are able to identify the important information by seeing what concepts and understanding of material was needed for the exam.


Feeling stressed during finals time is expected. However, letting the stress consume you is when it becomes an issue. Destressing is an essential step in preparing for finals. Stress during an exam is connected to disturbed sleep patterns, tiredness, worry, irregular eating habits, increased infections, memory loss and inability to concentrate, according to the Brain Connection.

While studying, taking breaks is key. That time allows for your mind to relax. Whether you watch TV, take a walk or take a nap, this “chill” time for your brain opens up room for it to breathe. Finals is a very stressful time, but dwelling in that stress only escalates the anxiety. Sophomore Daniela Gomez prefers to take short breaks while studying to avoid the implications of stressing over the exams.

“I take breaks to just calm myself down,” Gomez said. “During my breaks, I’ll eat a snack, go outside or just listen to music.”

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