The Dreaded Finals Week: How do I deal?

By Emily Carle

Thanks to Anne Dudley, all of our blog readers should know where to go to study and how to handle the last few stressful weeks of the semester, but the days leading up to finals week can use some more attention. For a lot of first-year students, finals week is a new or very different concept. Even being a senior and dealing with my seventh finals week (AH!) I know that every semester is different with a variety of exams and projects thrown at me. Thankfully every semester there are also more resources for students to use.

First, it’s important to know when your exams actually take place. A lot of the time, professors will alert the class as to the time and location for the exams but it never hurts to check and plan ahead. The Final Exam calendar can be found on the Registrars website. It gets updated for every semester, so keep that in mind for the future finals weeks. Make sure you contact your professor if you aren’t sure about the exam time. Final exams are nearly impossible to make up without a documented excuse, so there isn’t any leeway with the excuse “I didn’t know.”

Second, remember that there are numerous resources for students on campus. The library not only has study areas but drop-in math tutoring. If you have final papers to turn in instead of final exams, make sure you make an appointment with the Writing Commons to help you edit, cite, and proofread any writing assignment. To sign-up for a time slot, just go to the website and click “Schedule an Appointment” and an email reminder will be sent. More study resources are available through the Academic Success Center  as well as information on Kent CORE Study Groups and Drop-In Tutoring.

If incentives are a priority, make sure to check out the Study-A-Thon on Saturday, Dec. 11th from 12 noon to 12 midnight in the Student Center Ballroom. Every hour of the Study-A-Thon will have 50 minutes devoted to quiet study and the last 10 minutes will be a study break with food, snacks, coffee and prizes! There will be a grand prize of a $300 book scholarship at the event. Make sure to check it out just in time to devote the entire weekend to finals studying.

Lastly, it’s important to keep a few tips in mind while studying:

1. Take care of your body: eat healthy, exercise and most importantly SLEEP.

2. Take short study breaks: non-stop studying is not as helpful, make sure to break up the time.

3. Choose your environment carefully: find what works best for you but a peaceful environment will help your concentration.

4. Become a time miser: identify the time-stealing activities (i.e. television & Facebook) and eliminate them during finals studying.

5. Prioritize: plan your week, your day and what you need to study

6. Get help: don’t be afraid to ask questions of friends, classmates and professors if you don’t understand.

7. Use study groups: learn the material on your own and then review it by teaching/explaining the subject to a group.

8. Make outlines: identify key points and stay focused on what is important.

9. Rewrite notes: the extra time will help engrain the information

10. Get creative!: find the study style that works for you, from sticky notes, to podcasts, to PowerPoint.

By taking advantage of all the resources on campus as well as planning and studying everything accordingly, a successful finals week is inevitable! It is always important to end the semester on a strong note, so there is no excuse to overlook the endless possibilities all around you.

Emily Carle is a senior applied communications major and marketing assistant in the Dean’s Office of the College of Communication and Information.

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