It is that time of the semester once again! We are almost at the finish line, so student workers at the Center for Learning and Student Success (CLASS) have compiled a list of tips to help you ace those final exams! Keep in mind that CLASS runs programming through Dec. 9, so please visit myt.syr.edu to sign up for tutoring, mindfulness, or maximize your learning sessions!
1. Make a Study Plan
This should be one of the first tasks you do when you begin studying! Mark on your calendar when your exams are, as well as any other commitments during finals week. If you hold yourself accountable by sticking to your schedule, you’ll find that you save time when the hard studying begins!
—suggested by Joao Murray (academic coach) and Rachel Ferrera (NSD 225 tutor and MYL leader)
2. Start Early
We’ve got one more week of classes until finals start. This means that now is the perfect time to start preparing! Tons of research indicates that students will score better if they avoid cramming and start studying earlier. Spending a shorter amount of time daily is always better than cramming later on!
—suggested by Natalie Tauro (CLASS office assistant)
3. Eat Well and Get Quality Sleep
This may seem like the most obvious tip to help you succeed, but unfortunately, too many students overlook it! It can be tempting to cram in another hour of studying late at night or skip lunch to attend another meeting, but these unhealthy patterns will keep you from performing your best. Get the quality rest and meals you deserve!
—suggested by Jared Leveson (SCI 104 tutor)
4. Take Short Study Breaks
Breaks are crucial to preventing you from feeling overwhelmed or stressed! There are a lot of free apps you can use to plan in breaks and keep yourself on track. One of the most popular methods is the “25+5” structure—25 minutes of studying followed by five minutes of break. Our math tutor Aidan put it best, saying “Even just a 20 minute break to clear your head can do wonders for letting you study longer.”
—suggested by Aidan Yazell (MAT 121 tutor and mindfulness leader) and Jordan Campanelli (MAT 117 tutor)
5. Don’t Stress About Things You Can’t Control
You can minimize stress if you understand that you can only control how prepared you are going into finals, not exactly what is going to be on the exam. Put yourself in a strong position by studying hard and going to office hours, but know that you can’t do it all. Enjoy the feeling of satisfaction that you did everything you could have done to succeed.
—suggested by Julia Geronimo (MAT 285 tutor)
6. Prioritize Weaker Areas in Each Class
In order to maximize the efficiency of your studying, you need to focus on the weaker material from each class. This will require you to do some planning! Look through your notes and rank what you need to revisit. Now you know what areas will require most of your time. This planning does not need to be extensive, it just needs to organize the most confusing material for you! Here is a sample chart provided by our tutor and coach Madeline to get you started!
—suggested by Madeline Jones (ECS 221 tutor, academic coach, mindfulness leader)
Written and compiled by Ava Breitbeck ’22, College of Arts and Sciences