Students across Canada are preparing for finals as we enter the last weeks of the Winter semester. “Finals”, or the final exam season that will determine a student’s performance in a class or study program, is often viewed with dread, and can be a stressful time. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Check out our top tips for breezing through finals season.
With a calm attitude, proper planning, and — most importantly — a work-life balance, finals season can be a chance to excel in your classes and feel confident in your studies.
1. Make a study plan
This cannot be emphasized enough — it is the key to being prepared. Successful students have a study plan that works for them, and they stick to it. This can take many different forms. Some students schedule blocks of time to focus on one subject, others may arrange study groups and meet up with friends. You could prepare for exams by using old papers and sticking to a time limit, or you could read through your notes. Each student has their own habits, so find what works best for you and stick to it.
Read our tips on effective studying.
2. Speak to your instructors
Usually, the instructor who has lead you through the course is the one who sets the final exam or assignment. While they cannot tell you what will be on the final, they are there to support you and assist you with the course material. If you’re struggling with something, arrange a meeting with your instructor to go over it. Discussing a topic with a professional and a mentor is a great way to understand it better, and you’ll probably realize you know more than you think.
3. Make time for fun
Students can get so caught up in preparing for finals that exhaustion sets in, and this can increase stress. Make sure you take time to switch off and get away from your desk. Scheduling relaxation time into your study plan is also valuable — that way, you know you won’t miss a chance to have fun, and your studies won’t suffer. Go to the park, grab a bite to eat with friends, or go see a movie. You’ll be glad you did.
4. Eat well and hydrate
We’re not your mother, but we’re sure she’d agree with us — don’t forget to eat well during exams! Not only is a healthy diet proven to improve studying and fact retention, but it helps with energy levels too. Try to cut back on alcohol and caffeine, keep that water bottle to hand, and you’ll notice a difference in your concentration and efficiency.
5. Have something to look forward to
A trip with friends, a journey home to see family, a night out with a special someone, an exciting new job . . . whatever it may be, make sure you have something to look forward to after finals. Having a goal puts your effort into perspective, and makes your hard work all the more worthwhile.
Remember, your time at college or university isn’t just about grades. It’s about meeting new people, experiencing a new culture, having fun, and getting ready for the next step. Exams may seem stressful in the moment, but your hard work is sure to pay off!
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