Now is the time to start preparing for final exams–that is if you want to perform your best. Our memories are short. Have you forgotten how many things are due the last two weeks of the semester? How many papers, presentations, and group reports do you have to do at the end of the semester? Check those syllabi today! If–not if–BECAUSE you know you will procrastinate and have to rush to finish everything on time in that last week of class, start preparing NOW for final exams. Without planning, you will find yourself extremely stressed during the time you need to be studying for final exams.
10 Things You Can Do NOW to Prepare for Final Exams
1. Check the final exam schedule on Viking Web to find out how many finals you will have on each day. Click on “Course Registration” to locate the schedule. I have put some schedules on the bulletin board outside the Academic Support Center [Memorial Library, first floor] and on the bulletin board inside the ASC.
2. Create a written study schedule of the times and days you plan to study for each exam over the next six weeks.
a. Figure out which courses will require the most study and let your plan reflect that.
b. You should be studying on the weekends at this point. Increase your weekend study hours as finals get closer.
3. Use the study guide provided by the professor. And don’t wait until the night before the exam to look at it!
4. Attend any review sessions for the exam. Take questions with you.
5. Find out if the exam is comprehensive or if you will be tested only over the information presented since the last exam.
6. Review your previous tests if the exam will be comprehensive.
7. Create and meet with a study group from class if you study well in groups.
a. Try to anticipate questions.
b. Try to anticipate essay questions and compose outlines of your answer.
8. Create and study note cards of information you need to know for the exam. Review these weekly—daily as the time for the final exam approaches. You don’t have time to create note cards right before finals.
9. One of the ASC tutors recommends creating PowerPoint™ slides of the information you need to know for the test. You might prefer this method rather than note cards.
10. Know your grade for the class going into the final.
a. Check the syllabus to see how to compute your grade.
• For example, your homework grades count 5% of your total grade, so don’t think you’re doing fine if you’ve made A’s on all your homework assignments but have made D’s on all your exams, which count 70% of your grade, and your final [in this example] counts 25%.
• Rarely can you simply add all your grades together and average them to get your grade.
• If in doubt, ask the professor.
b. Then determine what grade you will have to make on the final to get the grade you want in the course and how much study it will take to get that grade.
c. Also be realistic about your chances of getting the grade you desire. Work toward getting the best grade possible.