Study Tips for Final Exams

Feeling stressed? Here’s how to stay focused and do well

Study Tips for Final Exams

Sophie Lawson, Staff writer

Nothing gets a student’s stress and anxiety levels up like final exams. Studying efficiently for final exams is crucial to a successful final exam performance and your overall semester grade. Students need to fine-tune their study methods and identify what works for them. 

Everyone’s studying method can look different; some prefer to take a more visual approach, creating physical representations and correlations between information, while others like using online programs that quiz on content like Quizlet and Kahoots.

Below are some final exams tips that will help you properly and effectively prepare for your final exams. Check them out and identify some study tips that will help improve your studying method.

Make a plan

Having multiple final exams, it can be a struggle to decide how you should spend your time studying. So, make a plan.

Organize yourself and spend a certain amount of time on each subject to keep up with your study workload; for example, you could create a study schedule and dedicate an hour or two per class to focus on that final exam. Knowing what and when to study something will make you feel better prepared to know you have studied all the material and are performing at your best. 

Prioritize your studying

Prioritizing studying for final exams that you consider are going to be “harder” is an excellent way to make sure you are keeping an academic grade level playing field among all your subjects. It makes logical sense to pay more attention to the material you don’t understand, than the material you do understand.

If you repeat to learn already understood material, what are you learning? Not all final exams are going to be weighted the same so pay attention to that as well. Make sure you feel comfortable in all your areas of study and enter a final exam knowing the material on the exam. 

Avoid the all-nighters

Trying to cram a week’s worth of studying into one single night is a risky and unproductive idea. A 2008 study by Pamela Thacher, an associate professor of Psychology at St. Lawrence University, found that all-nighters result in lower grades.

You do not retain the information you try to retain in your all-nighter as well as you think you do. A good night’s sleep equals a better exam performance. Knowing the information is half the battle; taking care of yourself and having a healthy study method is the other. 

Color Code

Coloring coding is a great system to help systematically organize what you need to study further. Using three colors allocate one color to what you know, one to what you somewhat know, and another to what you don’t know.

You can then work on the most pertinent information and prioritize the material. For example, you highlight a solving algebraic equation question in green and a graphing equation in red. The green marks you know how to solve algebraic equations and the red indicates you may need more practice on graphing equations, leaving you with a well-rounded understanding of the entire topic.

Don’t forget to take breaks

As important as studying is for your final exams, having a balanced study schedule is important so you do not exhaust yourself. Have some brain breaks and create some balance. Reward your learning with a study break so you can recharge and relax so you can continue to study. 

Make it fun

If the material is too big to chew, break it down. Study the material into small pieces and create mnemonic devices like acronyms, phrases, rhymes, or metaphors to make the concept more memorizable.  


Remember success on a final exam is reached by productive studying. Make sure your studying method is effective, so you are one step closer to achieving that A+ grade!