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How to Survive Finals Week 101


Posted by Lindsay Rothrock on Thursday, April 29, 2010

Being in the middle of my 6th finals week here at Vanderbilt, I thought I would impart some of the wisdom I have learned over the past three years about how to survive this stressful week. Each of my finals weeks have been very different; some have been full of tests, while others full of presentations and papers. Luckily, this year I have a mixture, making them all a little bit more bearable.

Read below to find out my tips for making it through…

1. Plan ahead

Before finals week even approaches, find out when all of your exams are, when your papers are due, and which days you have presentations. Write them down and space them out. Most of the exams have multiple test dates so you can choose the date that works best for you. Plan ahead when you are going to research for your papers and study for your tests. This will help with time-management when finals week rolls around and will ensure that you get in some quality library time.

2. Rotate your study spaces

There are so many classrooms, cubicles, desks, tables, and libraries for us to study in at Vanderbilt that you can study in a different place every day if you wanted to. In order to keep me from getting bored and distracted I like to switch up my study spaces. This year, I even ventured into buildings where I had never had classes before. I may have had to have one of my friends guide me, but today I found a new room with big chairs and a large table to spread out all of my papers.

3. If you can, study with friends

This is beneficial in many ways. During finals week, everyone is in the same boat: stressed out, ready to study, and with lots to do. When I study with friends, it is easy to stay motivated because when they are working I feel like I should be working also. But then, when I need a study break, I have someone to chat with and go get some more coffee or food with. Also, if you are in the same class as them it is nice to have someone to bounce ideas ooff of or ask questions of when you need more explanation.

4. Don’t forget to eat and sleep

Even though I have a 12 page paper due and an accounting test on Monday, I have to make sure that I am still taking care of myself. If I do not take care of myself first, then my work will suffer. Dinner with friends is always a good study break, and if I want to be sane while writing about the ethics of the marketing profession, then I must get some Zzzz’s every now and then.

5. Don’t get too stressed out

While you are at Vanderbilt, you will have 8 finals weeks, all with about 5 classes to finish up; that is a lot of assignments. Even though that one big 25 minute presentation you have tomorrow may seem like a huge deal at the time, it is just one of the many you are going to give at your time at Vanderbilt. I am not saying that you should not try your best, but do realize that you aren’t going to die if you don’t get an A+++ on it. Manage your time well and try to focus more on doing the best that you can do on each individual assignment while still being a happy person, instead of freaking out that you will fail life if you do bad on one test.

Now, following these rules will not make your finals week stress free, but hopefully it will make it a little more pleasant. And then after a week, or a week in a half if you stretch out your exams, you get to enjoy a wonderful summer!


Posted in Academics, College Life, Freshman Life, Student Life and tagged: , , , , , ,


  • wow, thanks for this awesome article! noted

    • Your post has helped me in my research, thanks for puttingnit together.

    • great post

  • when i was studying for my finals i never had enough sleep… i often used to stay awake to study until 4 am on theday before…. i always managed well though

  • Although my college years were long ago, these tips are helpful and informative. What I appreciate most is the idea that you should learn to make things as easy as possible on yourself. This includes setting up work spaces that are inspiring and not being too hard on yourself if you do not always exceed your expectations.

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  • Wow, thanks for the great information here I found it very helpful!. For countless numbers of college students, surviving finals week is one the most challenging aspects of college life. After an already long semester of projects, labs, and chapter tests, this time period serves as an apex of high stress for students all over the world. Following a healthy balance of nutrition, studying, and relaxation will ensure every student a significant increase in test taking ability and outcomes.Thanks for sharing this informative information.^ ^

  • Yes agree with all the points except the 2nd one as I just get distract when the study place and other things gets rotated..!!

  • Thanks for sharing . Finals week always sounds dreadful.If we are study with friends – This is beneficial in many ways. During finals week, everyone is in the same boat: stressed out, ready to study, and with lots to do.

    …..Thanks

  • Jon

    Thanks for sharing . Finals week always sounds dreadful.If we are doing study with friends – This is beneficial in many ways. During finals week, everyone is in the same boat: stressed out, ready to study, and with lots to do.

  • Although my college years were long ago, these tips are helpful and informative. What I appreciate most is the idea that you should learn to make things as easy as possible on yourself. This includes setting up work spaces that are inspiring and not being too hard on yourself if you do not always exceed your expectations.

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  • We have lot of fun back on the old days on last few weeks o school, and a lot of hard work passing the exams!
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  • O My God, its a great article, very useful, almost everyone passes through this phase, i have become nostalgic about my college exam days, i used to sleep in the day and all night study. After reading this article, one could manage time and study in a better way.

  • Very informative post on finals week. Finals week is the most heart pounding week for any student, calm and composure are other things to overcome the added pressure

  • Sam

    While I don’t miss exams (many years ago now), I have great memories of my uni days – enjoy it while you can.

  • Great tip on rotating study spaces. It can get really monotonous being at the same desk for 8 hours, so mixing it up (outside studying, anyone?) can go a long way.

  • Xclpromo

    thak you

  • Studentrelated

    u00a0thanxs for your tips

  • I find that it’s important to get a healthy meal packed with natural vitamins and minerals before doing any test. Google “brain foods” for some great info on this topic!

  • I like all of them but I find #5, not getting stressed out extremely difficult.nnAs much as I try not to stress, the test looming over my head consumes me

  • If you want to survive, do not go out of your house

    • There should be other ways for survival, staying at home can kill you anyway, you will die of boaring.

  • Lozdo88

    always people who need help, and this information is good

  • Mark

    simple but very helpful advices. like it :)

  • Anonymous

    In my opinion, so called negative stress is your worst enemy. Plan ahead and keep your focus, but be sure to get enough rest and eat proper, healthy foods.

  • wow,u00a0tipsu00a0areu00a0really helpfulu00a0for me.u00a0very inspiringu00a0andu00a0usefulu00a0tou00a0fill ina qualityu00a0weekend..;)

  • Great blog you have here, hope you wont mind if I retweet your blog posts to my twitters account. (:~)

  • Great blog you have here, hope you wont mind if I retweet your blog posts to my twitters account. (:~)

  • thanks for post.

  • Alaoui2013

    wonderful post and blog as wellnniu2019m very happy to write this comment to younni like you blog and i share itnnthank you

  • Michaelgarfield10

    This is great advice and sleep is so important. If you don’t get any, chances are you aren’t going to perform well on the final! http://www.yourhealthreporter.com/blog/build-muscle/who-is-vince-delmonte-can-you-trust-himu00a0

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