That's right. The time is has come for students to buckle down and get that grade they've been fighting for. If you're worried about that killer final in Biology or freaking out about your "A" in College Algebra, here's a list of helpful advice on how to prepare for College finals:
1. Acknowledge the existence of finals.
Remember the first day of class when all of your professors went through the syllabus and mentioned something about a final exam? That's usually the time when everyone's posting selfies on Facebook or tweeting up their new best friend for the semester. The first step to winning the battle against finals is being aware that finals will come. Know when they are and mark your calendar. Write it down. If you're that one kid in class that never has or doesn't own a pen or any type of writing instrument, set reminders on your phone.
2. Stay calm.
Once you've come to terms with reality, you'll probably feel a slight sense of worry. That's called anxiety. You probably know it as the feeling you get when your gas tank says "One mile to empty." Take a deep breath if possible. Worrying and feeling anxious will give you text anxiety, hinder your ability to retain material, and freak other people out. If you're worried, take a deep breath or have a glass of wine. Just avoid doing both at the same time.
3. Know what you're fighting for.
When you have $15 to your name and your parents won't send you any money, do you freak out? Of course you do, but that won't stop you from strategically planning out how many cups of ramen and slices of 7-Eleven pizza you can survive off of for the next three weeks, will it? Planning for finals is very similar. All you have to do is set goals. How many finals do you have? How far apart are they spaced? Once you've determined this, figure out how much time you have to study between classes. If you work or have extracurriculars, you'll need to consider those too, but remember Netflix is not an extracurricular activity. Many students have the option to skip their final but choose to take it for extra points. If this is you, determine how many points are needed to reach your desired grade and if it's worth it. For example, is it realistic to attain a 98% on the final to get an "A" in the class if you've been scoring B's and C's on previous tests? This usually involves logging onto your class online or checking with your professor to see what your grade is. If you've managed to go without checking or calculating your grade for the entire semester then you're either keeping an accurate mental estimate of your grade or living in denial.
4. Stay organized.
It takes you 30 minutes to get to campus but you leave the house 15 minutes before class starts because you couldn't find your keys. You have a meltdown because you can't find a matching pair of socks but still wear the tacky pair anyway despite how anxious you'll feel for the rest of the day. You go to the store without a list and leave with at least 3,382 items you didn't need in the first place. Does this sound like you? Staying organized is key to succeeding. Be certain that all of your test dates are accurate, and gather all needed study materials. Did you ever miss class? How detailed are your notes? Is there a concept in class you learned but are still unfamiliar with?
5. Eat brain food.
Despite popular belief, Ramen is not "brain food." Eat fresh produce and whole grains weeks before your final exams. Resist the urge to binge on Nutella covered pizza. If you have a sweet tooth, eat a piece of dark chocolate. Reduce or avoid alcohol, especially before or on test days. Remember, you are what you eat.
What seems to be the impossible has been asked of you. You are required to recall months worth of class material on the final test but you're only able to remember fragments of what your friend told you about the lecture you skipped and the hinted lesbian relationship developing between Regina and Emma from Once Upon a Time. If you had to take a final right now, would you be ready? How would you do? Studying helps decrease performance anxiety, can lead to higher grades, and gives you a better chance of walking like a model. If you have a few weeks before your finals, take at least twenty minutes to an hour or more to review material that will be on a final. If you have a break at work, bring a study guide with you. Taking at least fifteen minutes to study is better than taking no time to study.
7. Join forces with classmates.
What started to be a full class has now died down to a mere half. You've fantasized about this moment since day one of class. You'll go to class, takes notes, ace the test, and leave. Only one victor will emerge. However, Katniss received the help of many during her perils to survive the Hunger Games. You can too and without the killer monkeys and paranoia. If you're worried about failing the test, stop acting like you're the next supreme. Reach out for help. Chances are other students may be as equally worried about finals as you are. Get a study partner. If you're brave enough, join a study group.
8. Get plenty of rest.
By now, you're probably a master of staying up late and studying the night before the test. Somehow, you've convinced yourself that you can cram weeks worth of notes in a few hours. If so, you need to look at the choices you're making, especially when you half-confidently walk into that classroom and are shaking from two hours of lack of sleep and five cups of coffee. This self-destructive method may work from time to time, but it is also dangerous. These habits roll over into adulthood. Yes, adulthood. The time of life when most people have real jobs and cars that don't sound like they're about to die. Driving under sleep deprivation not only puts you in danger but all humans and cats around you too. For the sake of all those magical creatures, try going to bed earlier. Wake up at least three to four hours before the test and give yourself plenty of time to review.
9. Stay off social media, Hulu, Netflix and gaming consoles.
What's the longest you've gone without social media or Netflix? One week? Two Hours? Two Minutes? If you are an avid gamer, unplug the power-cord and give it to your best friend or parent. Tell them to keep it hidden until tests are over. For Netflix and Hulu, trust someone to temporarily change the password. If you feel the need to change the password through the associated e-mail, have that same person change the password to your e-mail. The same goes for Social Media. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
10. Spend more time with your pet.
If you've followed numbers one through nine and still feel feel hopeless about your test, spend some time with your beloved cat or dragon. According to Animal Smart, studies show that interaction with therapy animals can decrease stress in humans.