7 Strategies for Acing Your Finals


Even if you’ve attended all your classes and studied hard throughout the semester, it’s normal to feel a bit stressed right before finals week. Now you’re in the home stretch, but there are still a few things you can do to ensure you ace your finals.

1. Create a Study Schedule

It will be easier to stay on track if you create a schedule for yourself. Block out time each day for preparing for finals and make a note of exactly what you’ll be doing. For instance, instead of writing that you’ll study for a particular exam, specify an activity or section of the material. Be realistic when creating your schedule — both in terms of how much time you’ll need for each task and how long you can reasonably study without needing a break.

2. Prioritize Difficult Classes

There’s no need to divide the time in your study schedule equally between classes — if there’s an exam you know will be particularly difficult, make it your priority. Having a study schedule will help ensure you dedicate enough time to your most difficult classes, whereas if you only decide what you’ll do when you sit down at your desk, there’s a risk you could end up devoting too much time to the classes you like the most.

3. Study Without Distractions

Make every minute you dedicate to studying count by putting away anything that could be a distraction. For instance, keep your phone out of reach and don’t allow yourself to check anything unrelated to schoolwork on your laptop.

4. Come Up with Practice Questions

Come up with questions similar to those you may encounter in your exams and add them to flashcards. As well as creating your own questions, you may also find some you can use in your study guides and the quizzes in your textbooks.

5. Rewrite Your Notes

You’ve taken valuable notes, but simply rereading them won’t benefit you much. Instead, rewrite them into a condensed version with just the key facts. This will help you solidify terms and ideas in your mind.

6. Explain Concepts to Someone Else

Have a study session with a friend who is taking different classes than you and take turns explaining key concepts to each other. If you’re able to teach someone else, you can be confident you understand. You can also use this tactic on your own — you’ll just need to think about how you would explain. Whatever method you use, try to avoid looking at your notes when coming up with the explanations.

7. Focus on Your Health

You’ll feel ready to take on any exam if you maintain a healthy lifestyle leading up to your finals. Sleep enough, eat a balanced diet, and take regular breaks that involve some movement, even if it’s just a short walk to get some fresh air and sunlight. Whatever you do, avoid all-nighters — cramming tends to be ineffective and leaves you exhausted on exam day.

Having somewhere you can study in peace will make a big difference to your grades. Whereas your university may impose silence in dorms during the days leading up to finals week, you need to be able to study without distractions all semester. The solution is to move into an independent apartment, such as a room for rent. Oshawa, near OTU, has Foundry 1805. You’ll be living just steps from campus, but you’ll have a private or semi-private bedroom as well as the option of a study room in your suite. Apply now to take advantage of our lowest rates of the year.