How to Survive Finals Week

Well folks, it is that dreaded time of year again….Finals Week. You have made it through all of the homework and all of the tests and now comes the final grade that will decide your fate. I am one of the lucky ones that was blessed with a brain that has allowed me to maintain a 4.0 GPA throughout my education. I was also blessed with the ability to put everything off until the last minute and do as well or better than most people in my course. I know….life is unfair, right?! I have come up with some tips and tricks to help you ace those pesky finals!


This one is obvious. You need to study to pass those tests. Some of you are probably lucky enough to remember every single thing your instructor has ever said in class as well as everything you read in the book. I’m not one of those people. I have to study. Those of you that think you will just go in and wing it….I guarantee that will be a colossal mistake! Always study, and the earlier you start studying the better! We live in the amazing age that we have access to computers and the internet!! USE THESE RESOURCES! 99% of the time, you will be able to find study guides that other teachers have created specifically for your textbook. These can be the difference between passing and failing! They will help you better understand concepts and help them stick in your head! Also, your textbooks often have online resources that may have chapter quizzes, study guides, or other resources that would really help! Always check these, as well as chapter recaps in the books, out (I have had multiple teachers take questions directly from these online quizzes).


Our brains do not function at 100% when we don’t get enough sleep. Mental and physical fatigue from only getting a few hours of sleep could KILL your grade! Avoid this as best as you can! A great way to avoid this is to keep with a consistent sleeping schedule throughout the year. Start at the very beginning of the semester (or even before) and go to sleep and get up at the same times every day. Times to potentially strive for would be to go to sleep at 11PM and wake up at 7AM. This will give you time to get yourself ready for your 8 o’clock class and also get you a full 8 hours of sleep! This sleep is crucial during finals week!


This is kind of like number 2, but I love sleep so I’m going to include this too! I am a night owl, so once 11PM hits, I am WIDE AWAKE, regardless of the amount of sleep I got the night before. So naps are my lifesaver! During finals week, the studying and reading makes me very quiet very quickly. But guess what! If you get tired while studying, you can just take a power nap! A 30 to 35 minute nap could do wonders for you! Just take a nap and keep studying when you wake up. This will help you remember more of the material. Another trick would be to study during the daytime and just review everything during the night!


Finals, and all other tests, are extremely stressful. And studying for them can be even more so. Taking breaks will do you wonders. Exercising, whether it be just walking around the block or shooting a few baskets, will help you reduce stress. The break also gives your mind time to rest and recoup for the next study period.


This one is best to do all the time…but during finals week is especially important. Do NOT eat a bunch of junk food right before your test. Your brain needs power foods like fruits, veggies, proteins, vitamins, and minerals! Nuts are also a good snacking food, especially at night when your body needs a little extra energy. The most important thing to remember is to NEVER, EVER, EVER skip breakfast!!!


There are many tricks that can help you remember the things you studied:

1. Place a drop of peppermint extract oil underneath your nose before studying. Do this again before you start the test. Smelling the scent will help jog your memory. You can use any time of scent (perfume, lotion, etc.), just make sure it is one that you don’t use or is unfamiliar to you. I have only ever used the peppermint oil and it works really well for me.

2. Chew a new flavor of gum while studying and the same flavor when taking the test. This works in the same way as #1.

3. If you are one to record lectures, play instrumental music in the background of your recordings. This will help keep you awake and keep you from daydreaming through the boredom. If you are cutting it very close to the deadline, listen to your recorded lessons at double speed! Half the time and you still hear all the information…two birds with one stone!

There are of course, many other tricks you can do, and many others you can find in a simple google search. Just find what works best for you and go with it!

7. PRAY!!

I am a Christian, and praying can be so helpful for these situations. God is always on your side. Pray before you study, pray after you study, pray before your test, pray after your test, and pray all the times in between. I am the type of person that gets stressed out very quickly. Praying always helps me get through the hard times and the good times. It will bring you closer to God and help keep your mind at peace through the stressful tests.

Well, there you have it. Those are my tips and tricks on how to survive finals week. These may not work for everyone, but just try to figure out what works best for you and go with it! Best of luck to you all!


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