Photo by Angie Baquedano
Photo by Angie Baquedano

Queue the ominous music, gray clouds and hyperventilating, finals start this week! Now before you roll into a slow panic as the days pass by, take a moment to sit down. Breathe in, then out and tell yourself it will be okay. No more ominous music, pretend the sun is out (if it’s not) and breathe like a normal person. With these next few tips finals week will be a breeze.

Here are the golden rules of surviving finals week:


I cannot stress this enough. If you do not get enough sleep, you’re not going to remember what you’re studying. What’s the point of studying if you’re going to be falling asleep through it and come exam day, not remember a SINGLE thing? Naps are always good if you’re one of those “I’m always busy” persons.


If you don’t eat then you won’t be able to concentrate, but also don’t eat something unhealthy that will end up making you fall into the dreaded food coma.  I recommend that you go to Jamba Juice. It’ll get you off campus for a bit, and everything is super healthy. Get the Acai Primo Bowl. I guarantee studying for that exam will seem a little more bearable with an acai bowl at your side.


No, I am not talking about impairing beverages. I’m talking about good old healthy H20. Stay hydrated. You would be surprised just how sickly you will begin to feel if you don’t get enough water. Headaches, nausea, everything  you don’t need during finals.

Make Flashcards

I promise you they work. They aren’t expensive, you are more likely to remember what you’re studying if it’s put into a flash card format. It helps because you have gone through your notes, analyzed it, transferred it to a notecard and you are now repeatedly studying those cards. It will help and it’s worth a shot if you’ve never tried it before.

Group Study

Study with other people, have them quiz you and you quiz them back. It’s helpful when you go over topics with other people. Also, if you don’t understand something, ask a reliable person within the group to explain it. DO NOT study in groups if you don’t do well in them. Everyone knows exactly what I’m talking about, because they have either been the person who doesn’t do well in groups or experienced someone who doesn’t do well in groups. You know, the person that won’t shut up, is making everyone get off task, can’t concentrate, forever starting super irrelevant conversations that have nothing to do with studying. If you are that person, then you should avoid study groups. You won’t learn anything, and you’ll probably take away from the learning that group could have accomplished.

Attend Tutoring Sessions

Make time and go to one, especially if you have a TA and they are going over topics from class. Nine times out of ten, that TA knows what questions you will be asked on the exam. Get help and pay attention. You are more likely to do well on your test if you attend a tutoring session and it’s FREE.

Take Breaks

If you have hit that ‘3:30 in the afternoon, I’ve been here since 7 am’ slump, then it’s time to take a break. You won’t retain anything you’re studying if you’re in that slump. So know when to just stop, relax, center yourself and then get back to work. If stretching is all you need, then do it. I assure you no one in Atkins will even care. They will either be too busy taking a nap, studying or crying because they didn’t show up to any lectures.

Don’t Cram Study

Speaking of showing up to class, if you made the dreaded mistake of not showing then you’re probably going to have to cram study before each exam. This final could be what either bumps you from a D to a C, B to an A or what causes you to fail the class. First, accept that not going to class was probably the dumbest thing you’ve done education wise this semester. Second, promise yourself you won’t ever do that again. Third, get to studying early. Don’t just sit there and cram the day before. You won’t do well.

Make Goals

If studying is hard for you because of a lack of concentration then create a goals and rewards system. For example, if you study for 6 hours every day leading up to finals, then you can treat yourself to that bar you’ve wanted to check out or a piping cup of coffee. The key is to create a rewards system that works with you and will motivate you to get things done. I’ve been studying hard for my classes, so yesterday I went out and bought myself a dog. A little extreme? Maybe, but guess who is going to do well on their finals? This new pet owner.

Take Time Off

Do not make your study week busier than it needs to be. If you can get finals week off of work, then do it. If you get too busy, you will find yourself stressing out over making enough time for studying and everything else. Plan stuff out. If you do not already have a planner, get a baby one that will last you until the end of the semester. Write down everything that will be due to make sure none of your tests interfere with each other.

Well, there you have it—my tips that will get you through finals. Remember that if you put in the effort, study, try hard, prioritize and maintain yourself in good health through this time of stress, then you’ll great. Pain is temporary my friends, but your GPA is forever. Happy studying and good luck!

Angie Baquedano is the Assistant Lifestyle Editor at Niner Times. She is close to completing her Creative Writing major and Journalism Minor as an Undergraduate and hopes to one day work for The National Geographic Society. When Angie isn’t swamped with homework or working her CNA job she can be found traveling, reviewing restaurants for Charlotte Food Adventures or taking up new hobbies such as painting with oil pastels (It changes depending on what inspires her that week).