By Elizabeth Comben

Piles of notes, chapter reviews, and handouts commonly clutter most students’ desks and tables as finals week approaches.  The dreaded week usually includes test after test, little sleep, and a lot of stress. 

It is easy to be resentful of the professor for the difficulty of the test or the impact on your grade, however, they were all there too.  They suffered and stressed in their college days, as do current students.  "I remember finals being such a stress for me.  Especially if the professor was holding us accountable for an entire semester’s recall," explained Richard Benedict, NEED TITLE.  Your professor can make for a great resource for answers to questions, so ask. 

Even though many will still stress and worry, there are methods students can use to combat some of the stress and make finals week run more smoothly. "When students prepare or study they need to know exactly what's being asked of them. Whether or not the exam is comprehensive, what the format is, how much the exam counts in the final grade, and so on can help a student as she prepares for the exam. A mix of long- and short-term memory skills usually come into play, so having attended class and kept up with the work will complement the reviewing and strategizing," said Kevin Eyster, NEED TITLE. 

Ioana Fracassi, NEED TITLE, explained that she has only one preparation rule: “love what you learn with authentic passion.  If you do, then the ‘method’ for studying will come naturally.”  Taking a deep breath can go a long way, but truly investing in the material will be a solid investment in a future career.   

One method many students use to study is called "cramming" because the student waits until a day or two before a test and frantically tries to memorize as much information as possible in a very short amount of time.  As a rule, this method will not work.  Many classes, especially at the college level, build off one another.  The assignments and lessons sharpen skills learned in previous classes and teach new ones to use in future classes or careers.  When a student crams for an exam, he or she may know the information but they do not understand it and will have trouble using that concept in the future.  “Cramming does not work,” said Veronica Riha, NEED TITLE.  “You will end up having to relearn the material anyway because you won’t be able to remember it,” she continued. 

“Get a good night's rest, think positively, relax, and have fun,” said Eyster.  He also explained that taking the time to plan out some study sessions in the coming weeks could be helpful. 

The key here is to take a deep breath, plan out the coming weeks, and most importantly relax.  Good luck everyone!


The final countdown