November 30, 2014

Final exam study tips {college & grad school}

It's final exam season, ugh I know. But I have learned to appreciate this time of the semester because it means the end is near! I'm sharing a few tips that I practice for midterms & final exams that really help me feel prepared before tests and have my final projects completed ahead of the due date. I hope these help you have a happy and successful final exam week!

1. Divide and plan | Finals require a plan of action to handle calmly. Before I start studying or working on anything, I write down all of the finals I have and all of the assignments I have due during finals week. This semester I had the following written down:

Multivariate Statistical Coding Analysis Take-Home Final
Comparison Essay
Research Paper Proposal
Final Research Paper
Final Policy Memo 

Having a written list really helps keep me organized and also helps me prioritize my assignments. Trying to take on everything at the same time is very hectic and has proven unsuccessful for me in the past. So now, I stick to getting finals studying and assignments done using a system.

2. Get the assignments done first | When I have a ton of studying to do, the last thing I want to think about is doing assignments for another class. That's why I finish my assignments that are due before I start seriously studying. Of course you can do some light studying during the weeks/days leading up to your final, but I spend the majority of that time knocking out any assignments I have to do. This helps me really focus on the study material and decreases my stress levels since I have fewer things on my to-do list. After finishing my assignments, my list looked like this:

Multivariate Statistical Coding Analysis Take-Home Final

3. Take breaks | Taking short breaks is a great way to reward yourself for getting work done/learning information and it helps keep your brain from getting exhausted too quickly. If I'm studying at my place, I take breaks by watching an episode of a TV show, checking social media, painting my nails, having a snack, or doing some yoga.

4. Mix solo studying and group studying | I personally prefer studying and working alone, but that gets old really quickly during finals week. So, I like to alternate studying/working on my own for a few hours with working with others. Group/partner studying is good if you have the social self control to be around others when there's work to be done. But, I appreciate sitting at a table with a friend while doing work - it makes me happier, it makes me feel more obligated to study and it's nice to know someone is in the same boat.

5. Eat healthy snacks and drink water | I prepare healthy snacks and meals during finals week so that I can easily pack and eat them. Some of my favorite healthy snacks include bananas, blueberries, and yogurt. I also always keep a bottle of water with me.

6. Set alarms | I use alarms on my iPhone to set limits on my work (so I know when to take breaks), and to remind me of things I may forget otherwise because of the craziness of finals week. I also set limits on how late I will stay up during the week, and use alarms to tell me when it's time to wind down for the night and get some rest.

7. Make/use practice tests Before your exam, do a practice version of the exam to prepare! I sometimes make my own exam with possible questions or have a friend quiz me over the test information. All of these get your mind prepared for an exam and calm your nerves.

8. Be confident | Once you've done all you can to do well on your final exams, just believe that you're prepared and  try your very best when it comes time to take the test!

And remember to celebrate once your finals are over - here are a few suggestions of how to celebrate!


  1. Hello from Spain: perfect advice. Keep in touch

  2. such great tips for grad students!

  3. These are all such great tips Vett! Good luck on exams and hope you are enjoying the start to the holiday season!


  4. I always hated this time of year because we were so close to Christmas break but we still had to survive exams. Normally I did work in my dorm room but during exam week I always camped out in the library, something about everyone in there cramming together kept me motivated.

  5. Love all of these tips. :) Wish I would have had these when I was taking exams.
    I'd love to hear your thoughts about my latest outfit if you have a second... Fash Boulevard

  6. Love your tips. Good luck on your exams. Have a great day dear. Mel

  7. Sooooooo happy I don't have to take anymore finals... But definitely great advice for those that are still in school! :)


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