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The Mass Media

How to effectively study for finals


UMass Boston student Dana A., a sophomore, studies for finals from the comfort of her couch for hours on end.

With finals season now upon us, creating effective study methods will be critical to ensure that you complete your finals to the best of your ability. Finals can be overwhelming, but if you use effective studying methods to properly allocate your time, you can be sure to ace even your hardest finals. Be sure to remain focused, manage your time properly, and meet with your professors to ensure a successful end to this semester. This article will present some effective ways to successfully prepare for finals in order to ensure you finish the semester strong and enjoy your winter break. 

Plan ahead 

This may seem quite obvious, but we all struggle with procrastination. Planning ahead is the best way to ensure you don’t become overwhelmed when finals come around. My personal suggestion would be to load up all final projects and final exams into Google Calendar and sync that between your phone and laptop. That way, if you update something on your phone, it will automatically be updated on your laptop and vice versa. Review your syllabi and constantly check Blackboard for updates and announcements. Attend classes regularly because professors might give announcements that might not be made on Blackboard. As always, be sure to stay on top of your assignments and regularly communicate with your professor if you miss class or fall behind. Planning ahead is the first of many steps to ensure that you study well come finals time. 

Create an effective plan

When it comes to finals, creating a course of action for your studying is the best way to ensure you can take your finals head-on. Prioritize your more difficult classes and keep your easier classes till later on. Studying for your easy classes as a way to boost your confidence is a very common trap we fall into, but in the long run, it’s not a good idea. Create study guides and study previous homework. Creating an effective plan before finals start is one of the best ways to ensure you get the best grades you can. 

Utilize online study tools

Whether it’s Quizlet or Khan Academy, the internet is full of tools you can use to increase your chances of acing that hard final you have. These tools are super helpful and can even incorporate aspects of fun and gaming which can help you study better and have fun while doing it. Using the tools can help you stay on track and might be able to help you with some last-minute studying. 

Stay organized

While this might sound really obvious, organization is hard for many of us, yet it’s critical to completing the semester strong. Create folders on your laptop or Google Drive and keep important documents for each class in labeled folders. Have the syllabus of that class in that folder so it’s easily accessible. If you have textbooks, keep them somewhere safe so that you don’t lose them. Staying organized, while seemingly an obvious thing to do, is one of the best ways to effectively study when it comes to any exam. 

Finals are stressful, but they don’t have to be. By creating an effective plan and staying in contact with professors, you can best equip yourself to succeed. If you get overwhelmed, schedule some time to hang out with friends, take a walk or go to a coffee shop. If you overwhelm yourself with studying, you may end up doing more harm to your grade than good. Using these tactics and your own personal tactics is the best way to set yourself up in a good position to get increased grades on all your finals.

Good luck!