You are probably starting to become anxious about looming final exams. You also probably know that the best way to prepare for finals is by studying—and well in advance.
In addition to just studying, however, there are a few simple thoughts to remind yourself of during this tense time.
A little reassurance can do you just as much good as studying!
1. Holiday break is just around the corner…
Even though finals season can be the most stressful time of the semester, there is one key point to remember about it: it means the semester is coming to a close! There is something nearby to look forward to, whether you plan to take a trip to the tropics or just lounge around at home.
If you start to feel discouraged about studying for finals, think of how you will not be able to enjoy the holiday break until you complete your exams. A relaxing, much deserved rest from classes and routine testing is just ahead, so keep your eyes on the prize.
2. Most of the semester is already behind you!
High school students tend to worry excessively about final exams. Oftentimes, this is due to the fact that final exams are worth considerably more than a regular test taken during the semester. Let’s put grades into perspective, however.
In most cases, a teacher does not make a final exam worth more than 30% (or so) of a student’s final grade. It might help to think in terms of fractions; 30% is less than a third. Even if your final counts for 30% of your ultimate grade, realize that you have already done 70% of the semester’s work. 70% is a substantial majority.
As such, there is no need to be intimidated by percentages. Most of the semester’s work is in the days past.
3. You can score higher by not stressing out.
It should come as no surprise that extreme stress can have a negative impact on students’ grades. Studies have shown that although a healthy amount of pressure can push students to do better, excessive stress tends to have a detrimental effect; it can diminish concentration and memory when these skills are most essential to performing well.
Although it is a normal response to be concerned about important tests, try to remind yourself that worrying will not help you on finals—only studying and preparation will.
Find a way to decompress during those precious nights and hours before finals. Take a bath, go running, or do another activity that will ease your nerves and allow you to perform to your full potential.
4. There are ample resources available to you.
There is no reason you need to battle finals preparation by yourself. It need not completely fall on you to create original worksheets, activities, and questions to aid you in the study process.
You should be able to acquire these materials from your textbook, workbook, or even websites; you just have to be willing to look for them.
In addition, your class teacher may be able to provide you with helpful study tools and guides. Consider attending an extra help session as well if you are having doubts.
Solid preparation can allow you to do your absolute best on final exams, but remember that your mental state is also an important factor on test day. Therefore, keep these encouraging points in mind as the semester nears its close.
Stay positive, take a deep breath and look forward to the future!
Tiffany Sorensen is a professional tutor and contributing writer with Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement.