Finals Survival Guide From a Current College Student

It is tempting to cram during finals week, but you'll likely get more accomplished by studying in bite-sized chunks.

It is tempting to cram during finals week, but you'll likely get more accomplished by studying in bite-sized chunks.

Every quarter begins with a syllabus week, has its fair share of ups and downs, and comes to an end with the word that sends chills down every college student’s spine: finals.

I can’t lie, finals week is terrifying. It’s the time when you tie up loose ends and put a nice bow on your semester. Finals are difficult, but they’re not impossible. Here is a finals week survival guide from a college student that has survived several final exams.

Study a little bit at a time

Every teacher will tell you not to cram, and they say it for a reason. Studying a little bit at a time will take the last minute stress away from finals week. Make flashcards and study them for ten minutes a day. Take it a baby step at a time and before you know it, you’ll have all the facts memorized and committed to long term memory as opposed to forgetting them the minute after you’re done with your test. Remember you’re in college studying what you want to study, so what you’re learning will be important in the future as well.

Get a lot of sleep

Eight. Hours. Every. Night. No questions asked. If you have the choice between studying for two more hours before a test and going to sleep, get some sleep. It will make you more focused and alert the next day. If you’re exhausted you’re more likely to break down due to stress, so make the choice to take care of yourself.


Exercising can help you to clear your head and take a mental break from the stress of finals. If you want to, one of my favorite things to do is to catch up on reading and studying while on the elliptical or bike. Getting your blood pumping and being engaged in a text will make you more likely to remember what you are reading. Exercising is a healthy way to channel stress and take a break as opposed to eating or napping, so get out there and burn some calories!

Get with a group and review

Cooperate to graduate. Join a tutoring groups or attend any review sessions your professor holds. Your classmates can motivate you and may remember some things from the semester that may have slipped through the cracks for you. Besides, who knows the final better than the professor? If they don’t have a study group, you can always visit professors for office hours and ask any questions. Your initiation will likely impress them.

Believe you can and you will

College and finals week as a whole are all about pushing yourself to be the best you can be in order to learn and become better. The most important advice I could give you in order to survive finals week is to believe in yourself. It might seem like the world is crashing down on you and it’ll never end, but I promise you it ends. Before you know it you’ll be in syllabus week again and the cycle will repeat itself all over again.