The Final Countdown: what to do in the weeks leading up to finals

iStock_000019482418XSmall

Yes, it’s that time of the year again. The time for students to clean their apartments, reorganize their closets, rearrange their living rooms, read a magazine and then, finally, study.

But finals season doesn’t have to be about dreading studying. In fact, procrastination and cramming are more often a result of poor preparation rather than a distaste for studying. So how do you make your semester wrap-up enjoyable, or at the very least bearable?

Here are five ways to not only set yourself up for success across the board this finals season, but boost your engagement throughout the process.

Organize

While we may not always realize it, the thing holding us back the most from studying is often figuring out what to study. And with so much material thrown at us over the course of dozens of class sessions, it can be difficult to get organized and develop a plan of action. Accept this, and don’t think you’re above setting aside a few hours or even a full day to simply organize your notes, class by class. Doing this will make every step of actually studying that much easier as you can now effortlessly locate information and check off material you know.

Make a question list

As you go through your notes, it is essential that you address anything confusing right away. A good way to do this is to create a document or section in your notebook reserved specifically for questions that come up. Once you have four, five or even more questions, schedule a quick 30-minute meeting with your professor or attend their office hours to clear the air. Compiling study questions is something every successful student does, but beware that you start early as the close you get to your final, the harder it may be to get some of your professors’ time.

Bump up your ‘dead week’

Starting your studying early isn’t just beneficial when it comes to getting your concerns addressed by professors, it also allows you to avoid the dreaded ‘dead week’ – the week leading up to final exams. No matter how much or how little you think you need to get done, start now. Just an hour a day per class is usually enough to ensure that when it comes to the traditional dead week you won’t have to scramble. Instead you can spend your time casually studying while still going about your regular routine.

Exercise and meal prep

Finals week can take a toll on more than just your brain cells. Most students will tell you that the time they are most likely to be sick is during finals season because there simply isn’t enough time to exercise and sleep. Moreover, with less time available to grocery shop and cook students will also be more likely to go out to eat and thus spend more money. Avoid this common trap by setting a loose menu for the week and even prepping a few meals each Sunday.

Study, study, study

Finally, the biggest thing to do to help yourself this finals season is to study every day. Study with buddies, study alone, study at the library, study at a coffee shop. And, if you really are having trouble buckling down and getting your schedule down, don’t hesitate to speak to one of ACI’s education experts for advice on managing your time and avoiding that dreaded procrastination.

Get started at www.acispecialtybenefits.com, or contact ACI at info@acispecialtybenefits.com / 800.932.0034

About ACI Specialty Benefits

ACI Specialty Benefits ranks in the nation’s Top-Ten providers of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), corporate wellness programs, student assistance, corporate concierge, and work/life services to corporations worldwide. ACI partners with clients to Perk Up employee engagement and performance with benefit programs that improve morale, productivity and the bottom-line. With a 95% customer retention rate and over 7 million lives covered. ACI remains a privately-owned specialty benefits corporation, headquartered in San Diego. For more information, visit www.acispecialtybenefits.com or call 800.932.0034.
This entry was posted in All Blogs, College Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Final Countdown: what to do in the weeks leading up to finals

  1. Brian Zotti says:

    Having a well thought out plan to handle exams and the other burdens that have the unfortunate timing of occurring at the same time (saying your goodbyes to friends for the summer, wishing the seniors fairwell, and participating in the many on campus, and yes online activities, only add to your distractions. In the decade I’ve been in higher education I’ve observed certain end of term norms followed by students and by the school when it comes to finals. Some expect that they should do a knowledge binge & purge via ‘all nighters’ while others take advice from others who’ve gone before them saying they should only prepare for certain topics because ‘that’s what Professor so and so does in his/her classroom.’ However, in most cases students ended up exhausted, regretful, and being unprepared. Students without a plan find that it takes its toll on their friends and family as well as the grades they earn.
    The advice provided here is clear, easy to understand and something from which I certainly would have benefited when I was a student.
    My only suggestion is that since we live in a world of social and community networks, you don’t have to suffer alone. Take an honest inventory of what course topics you have command of and where you need help. Then build a study network with those that can best build the most well rounded learning forum (instead of those that you most enjoy hanging out with). The two groups are not, unfortunately, always the same. But in the end the results will be easier to achieve, you’ll have a more blanced mindset, and it’ll be well worth the effort.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s