Finals week is upon us. And even though we tell ourselves every semester that we will start studying a month before, sometimes that’s just not possible, especially when professors decide to cram three tests and two essays in the weeks leading up to finals, or when Netflix auto plays the next episode and we promise ourselves this will be the last one. I mean, 15 seconds is just not enough time to fight procrastination.
All-nighters become inevitable and stress levels reach an all-time high. But, no worries! Here at TP we know that’s like, so we have compiled these tips so you can survive finals week (almost) unscathed.
1. Work smarter, not harder!
Basically our motto here at TP, and the best thing I’ve learned from our awesome editor-in-chief. Especially if you’re against time, you’re going to have to make some tough decisions. If your final is two days away, there is no way you will be able to read through 14 chapters or rewrite a semester worth of notes. Are there any sample tests that you can practice with? Review guides? Is the professor having a last review session? If you don’t have a lot of time left, make sure you make the most of it and prepare yourself in the best way you can.
2. Start early.
It’s also possible that you don’t have that much to do the week before finals. It’s tempting to rest now, but you’ll be regretting it next week. Work a bunch of problems, make a summary, or whatever else you can think of to make next week easier for your future self. There is nothing more frustrating than realizing you don’t understand something the day before your final, simply because you didn’t make the time to study in advance.
3. Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead.
Say you have 15 chapters of chemistry to study and 5 days. It would be a good idea to study 3 chapters a day, but maybe Chapter 1 is super short and Chapter 5 is easier than the others. Create a study plan that works for you, and take all these things into consideration. Stick to your plan, but be realistic! Are you really going to study 8 chapters in five hours? Try tackling several classes a day so you don’t grow bored of the same material.
4. An all-nighter might be inevitable.
As much as it pains me to say it, sometimes it’s just necessary to stay up all night studying. But luckily for you, TP’s got you covered on that one. Check out this article and this one so you can pull the most productive all-nighter ever.
5. And you know what the best thing is after an all-nighter? A nap.
You probably have other finals to study for, so you don’t have enough time to completely make up the hours of sleep you lost. We know a lot about naps at TP, as you can see here. Remember, according to experts, the perfect power nap is around 25 min long (but most people take around 14 minutes to fall asleep, so factor that in as well). If you need more sleep, take a 90-minute nap. Anything shorter than that and you will wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle, and you’ll feel even more tired. Another option is a coffee nap.
6. Maybe reconsider your study spot.
The library is going to be packed and literally everyone is going to be there. And it’s basically a proven fact that you will be 200% more likely to procrastinate if you study in your room. Where will you be the most productive? Are there any secluded, quiet places to study in? Go there.
7. Take care of yourself.
Eat (something other than fast food), get some sleep, watch some Netflix. Sure, it’s probably easier to just set camp in the library, but if you overwork yourself, you will not be at your best for your final. Really, after two all-nighters in a row your brain can’t even do basic math anymore. Put down the Red Bull and coffee and drink some water, take a break, and start again. You got this!