The Calm Before the Storm: Tips for not Stressing Out During Finals

As Halloween comes to a close, students start looking toward Thanksgiving with excitement and comfort, friends and family from back home. However, something else lingers just behind Thanksgiving; that something is called finals. That’s right Aztecs, finals are right around the corner and I am going to give you a little help to get you ready for finals so that you don’t have to stress out during the last week!

The first thing that you need to do is look up when exactly all your finals are. Sometimes, you final time may not be the same as your normal class time. The final exam schedule is posted here: http://arweb.sdsu.edu/es/registrar/finalexams/12_fall.html. Plan out your calendar and know when your finals are and more importantly when you are done with finals. It is also a good idea to check your class syllabus. Sometimes professors will have the class final before finals week!

The next step is to figure out which finals are cumulative and which ones are non-cumulative. This distinction is important because if it is cumulative and covers everything over the course of the semester, you are probably going to need to spend more time on those finals than the finals that only cover a few chapters.

Now that you have those out of the way it is important to figure out what parts of your schedule you have time to study for finals. By this time in the semester you should know your routine, which will make this step really easy to figure out. I find that Sunday afternoon is when most students get homework done. Look into spending an extra hour studying or reading over a chapter for your final just so you start chipping away at what seems like an impossible amount of studying.

The biggest tool that students can use here at SDSU is professor office hours! Professors make the final and usually by this time in the semester they have already finalized it. If they haven’t already made the final, they surely know what is going to be on it. So ask them! Also ask them what they have asked about on past finals.

There is no secret to studying. Every student has their own way of doing it that works best for them. What I find to be most helpful and relaxing is studying with a group of friends. It doesn’t matter if they are studying for the same class. Studies show that the average student can constantly focus for only 30 minutes straight. Even if you are only studying half the time you are probably going to get more out of your studies than if you just went and studied straight through for hours on end.

The final tip that I have for studying for finals is the most obvious tip, but the one that most students still choose not to abide by; don’t wait until the last minute to study for your finals! There are two reasons for this. The first being that when you are stressed out, you are not going to be able to study as efficiently. The second is finding a place to study during finals week is near impossible unless you are in your residence. The library is the last place you want to be during finals week. There is never any room and everyone in the library is stressed beyond belief. Avoid the library if possible. Find a better spot.

Finals week runs from December 8th-15th. If you do choose to study during finals week in the library, SDSU has you covered. Aztec Night’s Midnight Study Break is on December 10th from 9pm-12pm! This year’s theme is The Final Episodes. So come out and get free food, win free prizes, and take that much needed break from studying.

Finally, don’t forget that Student Life & Leadership offers a free Test Taking Skills workshop FREE for all student organizations! You can request a workshop for your student group here. Reserve your workshop date soon!

See you out there Aztecs! And good luck on all your finals.

This blog was written by Andrew Sewell, Student Life and Leadership Blog Writer

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