How to Survive College Finals

November 30, 2015

For all you Freshmen out there coming back from this Thanksgiving break, you are about to experience something quite different than what you did in high school. Why? You are about to go through your first college finals week.

Thinking about “finals” can be scary - it sounds so final, doesn’t it? Sorry for the bad joke, but you know what we mean. However, the truth is, they are not as absolute as they may seem. If you have worked hard throughout the semester, you should be fine, since you should have all the knowledge locked up. So the first piece of advice? Don’t wait until the end of the semester to start learning the material! You should be going to class with an A attitude everyday, not just at the TA’s review session.

Regardless, we’ve all had those classes where we feel lost the entire semester. Some classes, you really need the final in order to boost your grade and qualify for that summer study abroad trip. So whether you’re trying to lock up an A in the class or you’re just looking to get a passing grade, here are some tips to put your best foot forward during your first finals week.  

  1. Make a plan. Find out when all your finals are as soon as possible, so you can organize your schedule so that you have plenty of time to study and relax. Finals aren’t the only thing going on at the end of the semester, as sports teams, clubs, and sororities/fraternities all have big end-of-the-semester events planned, so it is crucial to get your schedule together early so you have time to finish the semester strong in all areas of your life.

  2. Find out what you don’t know first. When studying the large amounts of material covered in finals, you need to prioritize -don’t get stuck in the weeds. Find out what you don’t know, write it all down, and ask someone who knows. Whether that’s Google, your TA, or your roommate, just find someone who knows the answer and move on. Studying for a final is a lot easier if you look at it like an Easter Egg hunt: the egg you find on the front step is just a valuable as the one you spend an hour looking for in the tall grass.

  3. Relax. Take time for yourself. Remember, no matter what, it is not the end of the world. You have other things contributing to your grade and this is only your first semester, you will have a ton of opportunities before you graduate.     

    _________________________________________________

    Want to help thousands of high school students get into the college of their dreams? If you’re a college student, you can sign up now, and you’ll automatically be entered into our monthly $1,000 scholarship. If you’re applying to college (or just starting now), search our database to find students like you and see how they got in. You’ll find their essays, scores, and advice, so you can get a better idea of what schools to apply to. 



Browse Successful Application Files

DanThePotatoMa…
Pomona ‘20


Accepted to Pomona, Swarthmore, Bowdoin, Middlebury, WashU, Vassar, Emory, Kenyon, Wesleyan, Hamilton

Salutations person! My profile includes the awesome details of the ridiculously goodlooking man in the above picture! Plus, a bunch of essays!
SChai
Georgetown ‘18


Accepted to Georgetown, NYU, Barnard, Northeastern

Hi, I'm Shannon! I'm from San Jose, California, spent a gap year living and working in Leipzig, Germany, and now I go to college in Washington D.C. I've shared everything I can remember about the college application process with y'all! :)
alm25
UT Austin ‘19


Accepted to UC Berkeley, USC, UMich, Illinois, UT Austin, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCSD, UCSB, U of Minnesota, Arizona, WVU, Cal Poly, San Jose State

I'm from the SF Bay Area, but I'm betraying my roots by attending The University of Texas at Austin as a chemical engineering major. I like music, science and eating!
VincentN
Stanford ‘20


Accepted to Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Irvine

Technophile and Starbucks lover majoring in CS with a passion for STEM and the arts.

New Posts

SAT & ACT Not Required? A Look at Test-Optional Colleges
SAT & ACT Not Required? A Look at Test-Optional Colleges
July 03, 2018

College has long been linked to standardized testing, especially since they are intended to assess a student’s readiness for college.What is a Test-Optional College?When a college or university is test-optional, it means...

Undecided Major? 3 Reasons Why You Should Own It
Undecided Major? 3 Reasons Why You Should Own It
June 20, 2018

“What do you plan on majoring in?” How much do you dread that question coming up at the dinner table? Thanks to Aunt Sally, this conversation is back on the table. You don’t want...

Student Insight: Transition to College
Student Insight: Transition to College
June 18, 2018

All college-bound students have some jitters about going to college for the first time. Let’s try to help you settle in more easily with these tips from current college students. There are a lot...

Load More Posts