Finals are closer than you think, so start studying

There are only two full weeks left before finals.

Let that sink in. 

Well, technically there are three, but only two full weeks of classes, due to Thanksgiving break next week. 

If we are honest with ourselves, how much actual studying do we do during a weekend off? Not much. So that means that we really only have this week and the week before finals to buckle down and get ready for the big exams.

The closer and closer we get down to the wire, the more and more likely we are to just let one or two classes fall to the wayside when it comes to studying. 

Take this week to ask your professors what you need to be studying to get ready for these final exams. 

Talking to your professor is the single most effective way to really get ahead of the game when it comes to finals. This is especially important for classes that have a huge weight on exams, particularly the final. 

If you don’t know what to study until a week before, you are setting yourself up for failure. 

Boot up D2L and find the syllabus from the first few days of classes, and see if there is any information on the final exam. Often, professors will include the date, time and whether or not it is a cumulative exam or not. 

Whether your final exams are cumulative or just about the current topic, it is best to start studying earlier, rather than the night before. 

Scientists refer to this phenomenon as the “curve of forgetting”, which essentially means that ideas are forgotten over time if they are not revisited. 

Understanding this, it is important to look back now at what you have learned so far in the semester, so when you go back to do the in depth studying for the exam, you already have some of the information readily available for you to access in your memory. 

Even if it isn’t a full fledged sit down with all of the content of the semester, it is a really good idea to simply look back at what you have learned already and come up with a plan for each of your classes as to how you are going to attack exam prep. 

So in these next few days, go through your classes one by one and see what needs to be done and create a plan based on that. 

Start with understanding what will be on each exam, then look back at all of that content. Figure out what you know and what you need to know better, then come with a plan to bridge those together. 

Finals are the most stressful time to be a college student. It is vital for your grades as well as your mental health to take the stress off of yourself as much as possible. The best way to do that? Prepare, and prepare early. 

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