Finals are looming and online learning is shifting how finals are not only being administered, but the content. Teachers and professors are testing application rather than rote knowledge since you can’t look up application as easily. Others are going to essay formats.
Here are a few tips to get through finals as painlessly as possible from a productivity or executive functioning perspective.
First and foremost, make sure all of your assignments are turned in, and you are going into finals with the maximum amount of points. Many teachers/professors have been more flexible about due dates, so if you are missing any assignments, it can’t hurt to check in and see if you are able to accrue points to maximize your point totals prior to going into finals. Even if you only get partial credit, more points in equals less pressure for points on finals. From that standpoint alone, less pressure/stress, you are likely to do better and convey your complete knowledge on your exams.
Know the format of your tests and the amount of time you will have to take them. Don’t assume you can just look up the info. You may or may not have the time to do so for each question. If the final is an essay, do as much research as you can prior to the assigned final especially if you are given multiple prompts in advance. If that is the case, spend the time outlining and developing all of the essays in advance. It is more work on the front end, but it will make the final essay a breeze.
Know your deadlines and write them down in a place you will be looking. Some finals are due within an hour of the start time and others start on the day of the final but aren’t due until a specific time on the following day. Be clear on when your finals start and end.
Study to the format of the test. While it’s helpful and effective to learn the information using your learning style, that isn’t necessarily the case when preparing for a test or final. If it’s a multiple choice final, use Quizlet, which gives you the option for multiple choice. If it’s open ended, make sure you can retrieve the information instead of just being able to recognize it. And if it’s an essay, prepare as much as you can prior to the exam. Pay particular attention to the information your teacher or professor provides as they instruct you on the process of finals and study to it. It also may be more important to focus on the why and how in addition to the content that is pure memorization, which may not be the focus given students are taking exams from home with books and resources at hand.
Take care of yourself. Cramming isn’t ideal since sleep helps integrate knowledge and allows you to rest and be your best self for your exams. So get sleep. Eat foods that minimize inflammation and keep your blood sugar stable. This would include fiber, protein and healthy fats. So if you have to have toast, add almond butter or avocado to it to minimize blood sugar spikes. Extra credit for gluten free. A nutrient dense smoothie can also go a long way for increased mental stamina and energy, both needed for finals.
Once you’ve done everything you can do, be confident, take your exams, and reward yourself for the hard work you’ve put in.
Good luck!…but you won’t need it since you’ve prepared. 🙂