Five Way Students Can Tackle Their Final Exams and Final Projects with Minimal Stress

Sarah Gu, Staff Writer

For many students, final exams can be mentally draining and physically exhausting. Often, when students hear the phrase “final exams,” they feel overwhelmed and pressured to do well because their performance is graded. Final exams are the most challenging part of college. Glendale Community College provides services and resources to ensure students’ success. Study tips are also practical and may diminish stress.

1. Consider taking advantage  of free tutoring at the Learning Center. 

The Learning Center offers free tutoring for most subjects. The pandemic has allowed students to access the Learning Center through Zoom. The Center enables fellow peers to help each other to excel. They also offer one-on-one or drop-in tutoring. Students can make appointments online or at the Learning Center located at AD 232.  Jose Mendez, a student at GCC, states, “The Learning Center is great for study sessions in between classes, and there’s always someone there to help, whether it’s teachers or students.” More information about GCC’s Learning Center can be found on their website The Learning Center. GCC also provides services to students who need extra help in all levels of Math. The Math Discovery Center is committed to assisting students advancing in math, and they also provide computers to students.

2. Plan out your course finals and study ahead of time.

To minimize stress before exams, students can schedule what they’re studying and how long to prevent learning fatigue. A plan helps them to be organized and create specific goals. Students should start early to avoid staying up all night and cramming a lot of information in a short time. Flashcards and good notes can help increase retention and help summarize critical details. Also, students should prioritize certain subjects that they may find more challenging. They should also know what their professor expects, whether multiple choice or an essay final.

3. Find a study spot that works for you.

Distractions can interrupt students and cause them to procrastinate. Finding a good study spot can increase productivity and help create good study habits. Libraries and cafes are popular study spots because some students feel their home is more distracting because they can easily fall into bed or start playing games.  Some students choose to study in the comfort of their home, so they should find a quiet place and away from other family members. Brenda Loera, a student at GCC, stated, “I prefer studying at home, especially during the pandemic because I have easy access to books, and I can stop whenever I want.” Students should also remove unnecessary items from their study space and use noise-canceling headphones to reduce auditory distractions. 

4, Take time off for short study breaks in your routine.

Taking care of your well-being is vital in minimizing stress because frequently, students will neglect their health because of the pressure to do well. Final exams cause stress and take a toll on one’s body. Jennifer Cruz, a student at GCC, states, “I always lose weight during final weeks because I’m too busy studying for five classes, and I can use the extra time to study instead of sleeping or eating.” Taking breaks allows the brain to refresh and refocus. When a student feels overwhelmed or begins to lose focus, they should take a moment to stretch and check their phones for a short time. Taking breaks also increases concentration and retention. Students should also have a good night’s rest and fill their stomachs with brain foods like fruit and vegetables.  The pressure of passing classes causes students’ bodies to deteriorate. 

5. Form a study group or find a study buddy.

Having a friend to study with or forming a study group helps students stay motivated and benefit from others’ notes and study habits. Two brains are always better than one. Working in groups allows students to ask questions and come up with a variety of answers and solutions. It helps increase confidence, and it’s a fun way to push each other to be better. Study groups  can use flashcards to quiz each other, or opt for a more creative study approach through competitive virtual platforms such as Kahoot! or Jeopardy.

There are many ways to minimize stress and be successful for final exams. GCC offers services to its students all year long and is dedicated to helping students in all subjects. Students can create schedules to stay organized and manage their time to prevent learning fatigue. They should also minimize distractions to be more productive and focus on one thing at a time. Preparing for finals is stressful, so taking care of your health and well-being is essential for success. Students shouldn’t neglect their bodies and brain, so taking breaks help with concentration and retention. Study groups also help reduce stress because peers can motivate each other, and two brains are always better than one. 

Sarah Gu can be reached at [email protected]