Student Life

How to Prepare for Finals in College

Your first college finals can be really stressful, but there are ways to ease the stress.

Student Contributor, Alondra Arevalo

November 22, 2022

How to Prepare for Finals in College
Finals week can be a breeze with the right preparation!
Congratulations, you are almost done with your first semester/quarter of college! Give yourself a pat on the back. There’s just one more thing you need to take care of: finals. College finals can be really scary to think about. After all, they are a lot different compared to high school finals. They can be longer, more stressful, and more important to your overall grade. Despite this, they can also be easier, with the right preparation. This can mean a variety of things, from preparing yourself mentally and physically to preparing your physical workload.
Here are some tips to help survive your finals and ease your stress…

How to Prepare for Finals in College

Step 1: Organizing Your Thoughts

Organizing your thoughts is the first thing you should do in order to help yourself figure out what needs to get done. I personally use my agenda frequently, to help me figure out what I need to do in order to be successful.
I write everything down: what schoolwork I need to get done, when I go to work, outside plans; basically anything that takes a hefty amount of time. Listing all my tasks accordingly also helps me prioritize what needs to get done first, so I don’t stress about other assignments and tasks later on. Journaling is also a great way to think about what you have to do in the coming weeks, and can also help you declutter your mind. You probably have a lot in your head worrying you, so try to take some time to write down your troubles, to organize how you feel and what you can do to fix it. Also, after finals you can look back to see what was causing you pain, to figure out how you can avoid it in the future.

Step 2: Studying and Completing Assignments

Finishing all your work for school is in my opinion the hardest part to do. There isn’t a designated time to do all of it, so it’s really easy to leave it all to the last minute, and then you’re left with so much work and so little time to complete it. Let me tell you, I have been there! This kind of relates to keeping an agenda. Having an agenda can significantly reduce stress, and can help you get your work done on time. Prioritizing what needs to get done is the first thing to do when you need to complete loads of work. For example, you may have been assigned a final paper in addition to your other homework, so finish what is due first, but don’t forget to start your paper early on so you don’t procrastinate! In addition to this, studying is a key thing many people tend to overlook! Because it isn’t technically an “assignment,” people leave this for the last minute, potentially to never do at all, so they show up to exams unprepared! Always set time aside for studying your course material, I like to do at least two hours a week per class (keep in mind, I have a heavy homework load in addition to this). Depending on your own personal goals and needs, organize your time out of this accordingly. Studying is just as important as assignments, as they can both affect your homework the same!

Step 3: Eat

This is probably something you didn’t think about, but don’t forget to make time in your day to eat three full meals a day. This is crucial to your success, as you won’t be able to focus if you are hungry! This is also a fun one, as cooking can be a fun way to destress and clear your mind. I personally find cooking a way to connect with my roommates as well, as we all cook together to regroup after a very long day. This gives us very much needed down time. Here are some easy recipes that you can try that can be done in the microwave!

Step 4: Conquer!

Now that you’ve finished your preparation, you can go out and finish what you started! Whether it’s an exam, a report, or a presentation, you have done the work that needed to be done in order to be successful, so now it is time to power through. Don’t worry too much about it. Just think, after this is over, you will have a winter break to cool down from all the stress.

Step 5: The Aftermath

You did it! Now what do you do? Debrief with yourself! Think: what did you accomplish? What did you do right? What did you struggle with? What can you do to improve next time? This is equally as important as the initial preparation, because this feedback to yourself will provide what you need to improve. Look back at teacher comments if they left anything, and use that feedback to improve next time. Look over your grades, and find out what you struggled with, and what you were really good at. Compare your completed classes to your future coursework, and see what you enjoy versus what wasn’t the best to learn about. I hope your finals go well, and I hope you are successful in every single one! Always remember: a grade does not define you. If you didn’t do the greatest, use it as motivation for the next final, to do better! If you did fine, what did you do that helped you be successful? I wish you luck, you got this!

You Might Also Like

Fastweb makes finding scholarships a breeze.

Become a member and gain exclusive access to our database of over 1.5 million scholarships.

By clicking, I agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.