From Flustered to Finals Ready: Crushing your Finals with these 5 Tricks

Just the word “Finals” will give someone PTSD….

The studying, the late nights, the COFFEE, the waiting for grades to post, all of it..

I totally get it. That’s why I want to help! Here are 5 tricks that will help you thrive during finals season:

1. Visible Schedule is King

  • This is an “Elle Original” strategy. I would print out a physical calendar by just googling “April Calendar (Year)” and tape it somewhere visible either in my room or on the cover of my main notes folder, etc.

  • Then, I would write when each of my finals were happening including the time

  • Then, I would work backwards from those dates and plan out exactly the DAY and the BLOCK OF TIME I needed to study for each of those subjects

  • For example: if I had a physics final on Thursday morning I needed the most time to study for that so I would block off 3 - 4 half days to study and physically write those on my print out

  • Then, I would do this for every subject until I had each subject accounted for. I treated each of these blocks of time as scheduled meetings I couldn’t miss

  • This also gives accountability to prepare far enough in advance but not too far and forget everything you studied

2. Reward Yourself

  • Everyone needs momentum to continue to work towards goals

  • Set mini “rewards” after you take each final to celebrate not only being done with that final but also studying for it

  • Rewards are much more celebrated when you ACTUALLY do what you said you would, as an example you won’t enjoy that trip to the outlet mall if you know you didn’t give your best effort to studying for that particular exam

  • Pick a couple mini rewards for each exam and then pick one bigger reward for being done with ALL your exams!

3. Pick Your Partner (wisely)

  • This tip is very crucial to success!

  • Pick a study buddy that will actually help you study, not distract you

  • I had a group of friends in college that I loved to be around but knew when we studied we wouldn’t be able to focus. I had to pick friends that were in very similar classes as me and also were very dedicated to their studies

4. Timer Studying

  • This is an overall productivity hack

  • When you sit down to study for a subject break it up into multiple “heads down sections with undisrupted time”

  • Example: You are studying 3 hours for your first exam. Sit down and set a 15 minute timer to plan out your studying. Start the timer, silence your phone, plug in your “study” music, and work. Then when the timer goes off take a 5 minute break, make a new coffee, check your phone, grab a snack, etc. Then, set another 15 minute timer to start the first chapter of study. Continue doing this until you’re done with your 3 hour block of time. Then walk away!

  • This will keep you disciplined with your time allocated as opposed to focusing straight for 3 hours…. because who can actually do that! Nobody!

5. Rest & Repeat (!!!)

  • Get your sleep - it’s crazy important!

  • You may think pulling an all nighter will help your exams but trust me, it will only make you forget things that you absolutely know!

  • Sleeping is scientifically proven to help retain information you’ve memorized, don’t let your lack of sleep take away from your hours of studying

Not only will these tricks help you succeed at your Finals this semester but they hold true during all seasons. During your school life, work life, personal life, etc. Making time for yourself, resting, focusing your energy wisely, etc. is so important!

Go Forth & Finals On!