4 Study Tips You’ll Need to Get Through Finals

By Briercrest College Modified on December 01, 2018

A student survival guide to finishing the semester well.


Finals: the only redeemable thing about this word is that it signifies that nothing can come after it (until next semester). Despite the emotional jolt that arises with this part of year, the time of finals comes and goes like every other week. Here are 4 tips that will help with your academic life and to feel like it’s still September even though you have two exams, a group project, and a term paper due in the same week. Because, let’s be honest, you’ve put more effort into finding studying tips than you have on your paper.

1. Set up shop
If you need to spend a good couple of hours in the books, do not give yourself a reason not to. I mean ANY reason… well, you can go to the washroom, but don’t bring your phone! If you’re going to spend a morning studying, go somewhere boring. Cubicles, free of graffiti, are perfect for this. Make sure to bring everything you need: books, binders, snacks, coffee, water, headphones. Something forgotten is a reason to postpone studying or take a break you know you haven’t earned.

2. Work hard, play… medium?
Reward yourself… once you know you deserve it. Everyone has a different level of stamina. Some people can consistently work for 3 or more hours. For those workhorses, an hour-long break is appropriate. However, if you’re someone who has to move around after an hour, take 5-10 minutes to stretch and move around a little. But be careful: this is a moment of temptation. Don’t let 10 minutes turn into 12… and then 15... and on and on. Nothing is worse than taking too long of a break when you weren’t very productive. This can turn into staring at a TV screen and thinking about how your time “studying” was more characterized by YouTube than by your classes.

3. Get some software
If you’re a sucker for staying on social media or watching puppy videos for way longer than you should, then get software on your computer that will help with that. One program that you could look at is Self-Control. It allows users to block specific websites for set amounts time, which is perfect for “sprinter type” students. These are the people who work really hard for 20 minutes and then take a break for 30. Finals are a marathon, and a hilly one, so make sure those hills don’t turn into mountains.

4. Studying while being social
Life keeps going, even though the two weeks of finals can feel like an eternity. If your friends are planning on going out for dinner or your favorite sports team is playing in the evening, make sure you’ve done enough work throughout the day to enjoy that time. Your friends can notice when you’re distracted and not giving them your full attention. Avoid this. Allow yourself to enjoy your time out with friends by doing work in the time you’ve set aside to do it.

That’s it, that’s the secret of preparing for finals unlocked to every student ever! Maybe not, but hopefully this is helpful for those of you that feel stuck in a studying rut as those exams get closer.