Don’t Lose Sleep Over Finals

The Easterner Online
Eastern Washington University

It’s the time of year a lot of students longed for since the first day of school winter break. But before students can reach for the holiday eggnog, most cope with final exams.

Some start to panic and become filled with anxiety.

“I find myself having a hard time studying and taking tests,” said Nicholas Sampson, a junior at Savannah State University. “When I prepare for finals, I’ll try to study everything from past tests.”

But there are ways that students can prepare for finals without losing their hair. These recommendations, from personal experience and Internet resources, can help students before an exam and while they’re taking them:


Stay organized and focused. One way to do this is to make a schedule breaking down each hour in each day of finals week. Be realistic about how long you can study. Set study goals. It’s important not to cram. Cramming isn’t a productive way to study because information may be easily confused or forgotten.

Eliminate interference when you study. Find a spot away from people and noise. Keep snacks or drinks close by, so you don’t have to take unnecessary breaks.

Get enough sleep and eat well, especially during exam time. Continue to regularly exercise; it will help you relieve stress and stay focused.


Get help. If you have questions about material, ask your professor or teacher’s assistant. Also try comparing notes with a classmate that way, if you missed information from a lecture, you can get it from each other.

Ask the professor about the final. If she has a study guide, get it early if you can. Ask what can be used during the final exam, such as a calculator, dictionary or thesaurus. Be alert during class lectures for clues to test subjects.

Prepare your own exam. Collect questions, problems and essay topics from past exams and homework assignments. Take the test a week or two before the final exam to see where you need to focus your studies. Decide where the test questions come from the textbook, the lecture or both.


According to educational psychologists, students can talk to someone about their worries and start thinking more positively.

It is important to get psyched up, but not to the point where you become overconfident.

Finally, if it upsets you to talk to your friends about an exam when it is finished, don’t do it. In fact, don’t even think about the exam you have just finished. After all, you can’t change what you’ve written!