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Finals Survival Guide

By Rickey Miller

We’re approaching finals, one of the most dreaded weeks of the year. From long hours of studying to barely having time to eat, finals week can take a toll on not just you, but also your grades. So how can you remain sane while making the grades you want? Well, we are glad you asked! DIG is here, once again, to come to your rescue with our tips, tricks and advice to help you survive finals week!

 

Be Prepared.

One of the biggest factors in having a successful final exams week is making sure you are ready! One thing you can do to prepare for exams is begin to read over your class notes now. Buying index cards and making bullet points of important concepts and information will come in handy later.

“I always start getting all of my notes together the week before my tests,” said 21-year-old business major Jake Donaldson. “It’s just easier to see what all you have and what all you may be missing. Then I usually start highlighting the important things I need to know.”

Donaldson added that by beginning to highlight all the important information he needs to know early, he is able to focus on actually just retaining the information the week of the exams.

“It makes studying really easy,” he says.

Also, being prepared means having all of your supplies handy. Make sure you are equipped with scantrons, bluebooks, paper and pens/pencils. And if you prefer not to buy your bluebook or scantron – visit the LSU Student Government Office located in the Student Union. They provide free scantons and bluebooks for students. Don’t be that student asking to “borrow” a scantron from your classmates the day of the test!

 

Try To Keep Your Normal Routine.

While most of us probably think it is a good idea to plan our whole week around studying – it is actually important to try keeping some level of normalcy. One of the worst things you can do is consume your entire days of finals week with studying. You will begin to stress out, you will probably over-study, and you will probably become really annoying to your friends.

Instead, try going through your week as normal, but dedicating about two hours per day to studying. Some of the easiest ways to do this are reserving about an hour before bedtime to study and periodically looking over your study material in 10-15 minute increments throughout the day. You’ll learn that you actually retain information much better this way.

BUT… there is one exception to our “keeping your normal routine” tip. While you probably have an active nightlife – attempt to save your hard partying until after you’ve completed all of your finals.

 

Use The Tools Available To You.

Many students do not take advantage of the many tools available to them. For instance, LSU has a fantastic free tutoring lab on the first floor of Middleton. Simply bring your student I.D., along with the material you need help understanding, and an experienced tutor will meet you to help you until you are comfortable with the information.

Your cellphone is another great tool at your disposal. Many students don’t realize that there are tons of study aid apps available through their phone. Some of our favorites are: StudyBlue, Flashcard + by Chegg, and Quizlet. These apps will have you learning in one of the most convenient ways possible – right from the palm of your hand.

“I’ve actually realized that just going to your teachers’ office hours really works,” said 19 year-old sociology major sophomore Gia Broussard. “Like if you are not really understanding what you’re supposed to be studying or not understanding some of the things that will be on the test, going to the office hours will help a lot. Professors are always happy to see students visit their office hours and it shows them that you care about your grade, which could help you out a lot in the long run.”

Broussard also says, if you are planning to go to your professors’ office hours, don’t wait until the day before the test.

“Some of them get really mad when you wait until the day before or day of to ask them questions,” she says.

 

Don’t Turn Studying Into A Social Event.

Be careful not to turn your study group sessions into gossip and chat time. It happens to the best of us. We plan on getting so much accomplished in study groups but inevitably waste most of our study time chatting, checking our Instagrams, and taking some awesome Snapchats. Don’t fall victim. If you see that you are losing focus, try walking away for a few minutes and returning with a focused mindset.

 

Rest. Eat. & Exercise.

We know you have so much to do during finals week; however, make sure you are getting your proper rest. You cannot retain information when you are mentally and physically drained. Make sure you’re getting at least 8+ hours of sleep. DO NOT pull all-nighters. Pulling an all-nighter is probably one of the worst things you could do. While you may feel like you’re accomplishing a lot, you are actually counteracting how much information your brain is processing.

Eat! It sounds silly, but most of us don’t make it a priority to eat during finals. It just makes sense – eating and exercising can make a big difference in how you physically and mentally feel. Exercising at least 30 minutes can give you natural energy. Energy you’re going to need to fight through your exhausting week.

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