If you want to know how I graduated with a 3.75 GPA, while working almost full-time and going to school more than full-time (18 or 21 credits each semester)… here’s how!
1. Go to Class During the Semester
I know this sounds too easy, but seriously this is the number 1 reason I never stressed out during finals week. I went to almost every class and was mentally present during each class. This meant I had much less studying to do than my classmates because I didn’t have to learn content for the first time on my own. PLUS you will ALWAYS get a better grade on an essay exam if you use the professor’s own wording. If you write down almost word for word how they described something, you cannot be wrong (obviously) and by going to class every day you learn the teacher’s speaking style so you can mimic it on your essay.
2. Take Notes in a Notebook and Transfer Them To A Word Document
Studies show you remember what you physically write down much more than typing, however, going through your notebook to fill out a study guide is time consuming. If you transfer what is on your notebook to a word document you are not only going over the lecture and studying that way, but when finals week pops up you can CTRL + F and find the answers to the study guide questions much, much quicker.
Finals week was when I would sleep the most. My sister (the psych major) confirmed that sleeping is when your brain processes memory. That means the less sleep you get, the less you remember. Nap every day, get your 8 hours, take 2 naps if you can. This is why going to class is so important, if you do not need to teach yourself the material you missed by not going to class, you can use that time to sleep and meditate and you’ll be in much better shape to get an A on that final.
4. Download the Quizlet App
If you need to memorize things for class, you need this app. You can study flashcards on the bus, in the car, in line, anywhere as long as you have your phone. This is the sole reason I could take Spanish as a minor with all of the vocab memorization. When it came to the final, I knew all the words because I would study flashcards on the shuttles and when I got to class early.
During the semester slay your assignments, work hard on them and get good grades. When it comes to assignments, such as a midterm paper, your professors are available to help you and would honestly be thrilled if you showed up to office hours to make sure you have an A-paper. And guess what happens when you get A’s on assignments? You don’t have to worry about your final because your grade is already pretty stable. If you don’t need your final to help you pass a class, then you’ll be much less stressed, trust me.
6. Use Your Resources
You have the best minds in your state at your service for FREE. Go to free tutoring with one of your friends you met in class (assuming you took my advice in 15 Things to Do Your First Week of College). Go to free writing labs to write kick-butt papers that will get your grades solidified before finals. Talk to your teachers during office hours. Do everything you can. You’re only in school for 4 years (unless you further your education). Kill it by taking advantage of what’s available to you, because when you’re no longer a student you can’t take back all of the things you didn’t do.
7. Remind Yourself That it’s Temporary
I cannot even count the number of times I told myself, ” In ___ days this will all be over and I’ll be sleeping in until 12:30pm“. Just keep repeating this to yourself. Finals week is only a week and you’ve prepared for it, and you will not have to worry about them after your last one.