Dean College

  • Final Exam Preparation and Success Tips

    We've reached the point in the semester where Thanksgiving, the holidays, and a nice relaxing break is in sight - and that means it's time to build up that second wind of energy and power through to end on a successful note. Now is the time to start thinking about your final exam and how you will prepare to ace every one of them. Use some of these simple tips to help you prepare for, and do well on your exams.

    Male StudyingDo not pull an all-nighter.
    Adequate sleep is one of the most important things for good health and success as it helps your mind reset and recharge. An all night cram session of an entire semesters worth of information is not recommended, not realistic, and not effective! Make a plan to spread out your studying and prioritize getting your eight hours of sleep, especially the night before the exam - you need it!

    Know what kind of exam to expect.
    Knowing what type of questions to expect can help influence how you prepare for your exam. Will the questions be multiple choice, short response, or essay format? Be sure to ask your professor to set expectations, and prepare accordingly.

    Eat breakfast or the appropriate meal before your exam.
    A high protein and healthy meal prior to an exam will help you keep your energy and keep your focus throughout the exam. Your brain and body needs energy to perform at maximum effectiveness, do not skip your meal! If you're heading from one exam to another, think ahead and pack a healthy snack.

    Avoid distractions while you prepare for your finals.
    In our wonderfully connected social world, we hear the familiar iphone alert sound or feel that buzz and immediately feel the need to see what's happening. Breaking your focus by checking your twitter feed every 3 minutes as you study is something to try to avoid. Consider turning off your phone while you study to avoid those very easy distractions. Take breaks throughout your study sessions, and use that time to fire up the iphone and instagram a #StudySelfie.

    Female StudyingThink like your professor.
    Did your professor provide you a study guide or some sample questions? Great! If not - think like they do. You've spent a good amount of time this semester with your professor and they have likely dropped some subtle hints as to what they expect. Look over your notes from the semester and see if anything really sticks out as something that was important. It's more than likely you'll see a question or two on that subject.

    During your exam, focus first on the questions you're most comfortable with.
    If you begin your exam and start to stress about the first few questions...don't! Work your way through and answer the questions your most comfortable and confident in, which will leave you plenty of time to go back and think through some of the tougher questions. This will help you avoid worrying and stressing right off the bat.

    Do not become reliant on caffeine.
    I know, I know. It's SO easy to fall into that trap - one cup becomes two, two becomes three. Maybe you made a whole pot of coffee for you and your roommate, and they did not want any. Avoid the temptation to rely on coffee or energy drinks and eat a banana or an apple instead. No, seriously, those both will give you the extra energy boost you need! 

    Good luck on your final exams, and remember, you'll do great!

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