Tackling Finals Test Prep

As finals week approaches, here are some tips and tricks to do your best on the test.

Kate McCarthy, News and Sports Editor

We all know finals week, especially during second semester, is one of the most stressful experiences any high schooler will undergo. The combination of ramped up work paired with the glimpse of the summer days to come can make it challenging to remember the importance of these tests as well as the fact that you need to prepare correctly for them. Nevertheless, I’m here to give you some important studying tips so you are prepared to ace those spring exams.

1. Organize

The first tip I will give every single student is organization. This step, which many students tend to skip in the panic of preparation, is valuable because it keeps all the materials orderly and understandable when it comes time to study. At this time, all of you reading this have most likely had the rigorous experience of making a finals binder. This can be an excellent way of achieving this organization needed to prepare for the test. Though it may seem tedious, sorting out your notes, handouts, tests, quizzes, and papers helps you to decipher what you learned throughout the year in an orderly manner. 

2. Study Guides

Second, once you have your notes organized in whichever way is easiest for you (binders, paperclips, piles of papers on the floor of your room, etc.) it’s time to make a study guide. Though yes, many teachers may provide an outline of what you learned this semester, it is important to fill in the information for each unit. Begin by opening up that apple laptop of yours and creating a blank google document. Title it whatever your heart may desire; I only recommend you name it something practical rather than “Stupid Study Guide” (definitely not speaking from experience). Organize all the units throughout the semester into sections. I would also recommend while doing this that you bold/highlight the titles of each unit to separate out each section. Make sure that any information you put below the titles is the shortened or only the most valuable information for each section. You want a summary and quick guide to pages and pages of notes, not a copy and pasted version of all the information you learned this year. In the end, making these study guides may take a while, but essentially you are studying while making these tools for studying later.

Junior Elizabeth Nordhus studies for her finals in the journalism lab on Dec. 7. (Maggie McKinney)

3. Memorize

Next step is to put these study guides to work. Read through them, quiz yourself on topics, try and cover up certain definitions or terms in order to quiz yourself. In addition to this, use your study guide to make yourself a quizlet if you have extra time and study from there. Another huge resource for actually “studying” in the literal sense is the utilization of old handouts and worksheets. Many of your teachers will pull old concepts or test questions and put them on their finals, so using these handouts is to the best of your advantage.

4. Use Your Teachers

Finally, the last and most valuable tool for preparing for finals is using the amazing teachers at Sion to help you achieve your goals. All the teachers, regardless of how strict they may seem at times, are here and willing to help all the students. Never be afraid to ask a question that may seem silly to you or email them for extra help. They want their students to be successful just as much as you want that A on the test. 

I know finals week can be scary, but make sure to not stress too much about all of the work and studying. In the end, this is just one test. Try not to worry too much about how well you do on the test, and rather go into each exam with a positive attitude and a smile to help you get through a tiresome week.

Math Curriculum Coordinator Reynold Middleton asks Katrina Keyes, Class of ’02, a question about how she found her career during Career Day on Jan. 16. (Maggie McKinney)