Finals. One of the most frightening parts of school. One test that ultimately determines your overall grade. Even one percent difference can change an A- to a B+, or a B+ to an A-. Here are some helpful ways to prepare for finals:

  • ALWAYS use the study guides offered by teachers.
    • This should be one of the main study tools used to prepare for the exam!!
    • Usually, teachers format the study guide like the exam, but with different questions.
    • Study guides for finals usually include the following:
      • How many multiple-choice/free response will be on the exam
      • How much information from each chapter 
        • Some teachers make more questions on the exam from recent chapters and others make the same amount of questions for each chapter
      • The difficulty of the exam
        • If it will be harder than normal chapter tests or the same (just lengthier since it is a final)
    • Overall, the study guide is the study tool that is most similar to the test, so complete it thoroughly and ask questions to the teacher!
  • Look over past tests and quizzes taken throughout the duration of the semester (ask the teacher for permission)
    • This is very helpful because the exam could have some of the exact or very similar questions on it
    • Reviewing the tests is a great way to recall information 
  • WORK AHEAD! Make a plan (either a planner or by memory)
    • The best advice I could give on this is to complete the final study guide a few days before the in-class review day (usually a week before the exam or the last class period before the exam)
      • That way it will be easier to 1) understand the concepts during the review session and 2) ask the teacher after the review session about the study guide (since it is complete!)
    • I remember my freshman year, not knowing how to study for finals.I would complete the study guide two days before the exam (which was reflected in my grade). I did not get the grade I wanted. It is very important to understand the study guide thoroughly about a week before the exam!!
  • Get the right amount of sleep.
    • The week before finals and especially during finals, make a sleep schedule. Make sure to get as much sleep as you can! At least 6 hours is vital. 7-9 hours is ideal for peak performance!
  • Eat well!
    • Brain food
    • Lots of protein
    • Have a balance. Sweets are okay during finals week! Focus on eating protein too though!

These are some great tips for how to prepare for finals! I hope these are helpful.

Photo Credits: Concordia University-Portland

Written by

Gasia Karakesis

Gasia Karakesis, junior, is on the OLu swim team and swims year-round. She loves to draw, listen to music, and read. Her favorite book is Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck.