Surviving – A Finals Week Primer

It must be finals week in Bloomington because for once the libraries are more crowded than Nick’s or Kilroy’s.

As college students on campuses around the country are entering finals week, I thought it might be good to offer some advice on how to conquer the week ahead.

Get enough sleep. Cramming at the library or the union until the sun rises before your 8 a.m. final is not an effective study method. Your mind will function better if you make sure you’re scheduling your studying with time to sleep in between.

Make sure you arrive early for your exams and make sure to bring all of the materials necessary. A student of mine once told me the story of how one of her friends forgot his graphing calculator and had to run all the way across campus to fetch it from his dorm room, subsequently missing half of his calculus exam.

Make time to relax. Note that I said relax, not party. Watch a movie with friends or play some games, or bundle up and take a walk around the Arboretum. After all, you need to let Faulkner catch his breath once in awhile — all those long sentences can get pretty long-winded.

And, above all else, don’t panic. It is just a test. Most of the time undergraduate finals won’t bring you down more than one or two letter grades. And if worse comes to worse, there’s always next semester.


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