Don’t Fear Finals: 5 Study Tips From an Upperclassman

Finals are one of those things you think you’ll never get use to while you’re in college. But after five semesters of college, I can honestly tell you that they get more manageable as time goes on. The first set may seem overwhelming now, but when you get a few under your belt you will realize that they aren’t as terrible as they might seem. For now, here are a few ways to make your life a little easier.

1. Ask questions and take advantage of office hours.

I never realized the benefit of going to office hours and asking questions until I actually went and tried it for myself. Most people don’t like to ask questions in front of a huge lecture hall (I know I don’t) and may leave a little unsure of the material. Professors love when students come to office hours and make an effort to understand their material. It shows that you are putting in the time to understand the course, and it really makes you stand out. Professors are great to work with one on one and are great resources if you are ever confused. It also helps to go straight to the source because nobody can understand a professor’s lecture better than the professor.


2. Study a little bit each day.

Don’t procrastinate. If you start a few days in advance and study a little bit each day, it makes going through all of the material a little less overwhelming. I find it helpful to write in my planner specific things and times that I want to study each day. This helps me balance studying with all of the other things I have going on during the day. Also, I find it helpful to take short breaks while I am studying for extended periods of time. It gives my brain a chance to relax and regroup and helps me study more effectively for longer.


3. Find a study spot that works best for you.

Everybody studies better in different places. Some prefer complete quiet, and others don’t mind studying around a lot of people, so find a place that suits you best and stick to it. I really enjoy sitting in front of the big fireplaces in the Union or finding a table in Thompson and camping out for a few hours. Finding a place where you are comfortable and can focus will be crucial to studying well.

Some popular study spots include:

  • 18th Ave Library
  • The Wexner Center for the Arts
  • Billy Ireland Cartoon Library
  • Geology Library in Orton Hall
  • Prior Health Sciences Library
  • RPAC
  • Residence Hall basements
  • Academic classrooms

4. Find a way to study that works for you.

Not all the same study habits work for the same people. Find what works best for you and run with it! You may find that what you have been doing all along can be better by adding in different study habits. Sometimes I color coordinate my notes with pens or highlighters to make the information clear and separate. Other times I will use Quizlet to create an online practice test switch it up (they also have an app that you can use on the go). Finding study methods that work for you will help you to understand the material faster and more thoroughly.

5. Take care of yourself.

I understand firsthand the effects that finals have on our schedules. It is easy to sacrifice sleep for a few extra hours of studying or to eat out all week for the sake of time. It is important to take care of your body during finals week so that you can stay healthy and on top of your game. Get good amounts of sleep and drink a lot of water! If you are going to order out, try to aim for a healthier alternative rather than the greasy foods that are high in fats and sugars. Maintaining a healthy body will help your brain be able to work more effectively while you study. After all, if you aren’t mentally present because you’re exhausted, then your ‘studying’ isn’t doing you much good anyway!