How to prepare for finals

By Abigail Keefe
December 10, 2004

Two words. Each word: two syllables. Usually occurs near or at the end of an academic term. Most often contains a set of questions pertaining to information given over the period of a semester or course.

And the answer is? You guessed it, final exams. Sure, you’re thinking “that wasn’t too difficult,” but for some, studying for them may be.

Towards the end of the semester students often begin to make attempts towards, or at least realize that they need to start preparing for final exams. Along with this comes stress for many. “What happens is we stop all social aspects we enjoy,” Dr. Maria Elena Hallion, exercise science and health promotion professor, said.

“Do not wait until the night or two before to study! Save the night before the test for a final review of previously studied material, not for cramming of unlearned material,” Maritza Gambone DeJesus, tutorial counselor, and Lorena Meskill, peer tutor, said.

The Tutoring Center staff suggests asking professors what information will be covered on the finals and start gathering that particular information into a folder or notebook as soon as possible. Flash cards, reviewing old tests, quizzes and homework assignments are some helpful studying methods.

Creating an outline highlighting material needing to be studying helps to prioritize information according to its importance. Hallion says knowing your grade before the final exam helps you prioritize and helps to ease the stress, thus allowing studying to be more effectively.

It is important to have read before the exams. Reading information not previously read or learned is key to being successful. If the information has not been learned, DeJesus and Meskill suggest reading one paragraph at a time and asking what was said in the paragraph to help retain what was said.

Study groups can be very beneficial. “Studying in groups isn’t cheating. Students perceive different information as important, so exchanging notes with peers is helpful,” Dr. Seth Freshie, English professor, said.

To all those stressing over finals, enjoy the last weekend of the fall semester. Enjoy the weekend, but be sure to save the night before the final for reviewing what has already been studied- not cramming. Be sure to keep daily routines and sleep patterns.

Some last minute tips: get a good nights rest, eat a good breakfast the morning of the exam and enter the exam with a good attitude. Be sure to check over all answers when finished.

Just think of how easy that charade was. Prepare and your final can be just as easy and stress free. Good luck!

Quick Tips for Studying

– Don’t cram the night before, instead use the night before to review already studied material.
– Get together with people from class to go over notes and material that may be on the final.
– Old exams, assignments, papers and notes from class are helpful when studying.
– Organize all materials. This makes the studying process less stressful.

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Abigail Keefe

Abigail Keefe is a Cabrini College student studying communications, enjoying her time in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Abbie loves working for the school newspaper, the Loquitur, and is also passionate about everything that the communication field has to offer.

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