How to survive finals: A guide for freshmen


The Catalyst / Alexa Neilson

While NDB’s Candy Canes and Cocktails Christmas event is in full swing, freshman Samatha Cook steps away to review for her upcoming final exams.

Finals are nerve-wracking for anyone, but especially for freshmen. It is easy to become panicked when you have a whole semester’s worth of content to study for every class. However, finals are really not that bad if you are properly prepared. Here are some tips to make finals week a bit less stressful.

1. Start studying early
Final exams are not like other unit tests that you are used to, where it only takes one or two days to prepare. Finals cover content from the whole semester, so it’s good to start reviewing at least a week in advance. Also, it’s hard to focus on one subject for too long. Take breaks by switching between each class so that you are preparing for all of your tests and also getting to exercise your brain in different ways.

2. Get your projects done before finals week
Some classes might assign project-based finals instead of tests. This is a great opportunity to spread out the work so that everything is not concentrated into one week.

3. Organize your notes
Before you embark on studying, make sure that your notes are organized and you can easily find past assignments to look over. Trust me, this will lead to a lot less stress as you frantically try to find information the night before the test. I also like to print out digital assignments and include them in my binders or folders so I have everything in one place.

4. Ask for help
Make sure to ask questions in the classes leading up to finals. Make use of Collaboration time to talk to teachers and review any concepts you need clarification on. The peer tutoring program is also a great resource for all students.

5. Practice with notecards or study guides
The math department lets students have a note card for formulas. This is a very helpful resource during the test, and can also be a great way to study. Once your notecard is made, practice using it while you work on sample questions so that you know how to apply the concepts from your note card to different kinds of problems. You also may have equations sheets in other subjects, or even a study guide to help you practice.

6. Don’t get too stressed
Finals can seem intimidating, but at the end of the day they will not make or break your grade. Look on the bright side – winter break is almost here!