#34 Two Types Of Students During Finals

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As the end of the semester comes to the end, students begin to travel home for the holidays and wait irritably for their final grades to be posted. Finals Week and the week before finals is one of the most, if not the most, stressful times of the year for students. It is packed with exams, papers, and presentations that must be completed in a short period. When talking to students of a University, you will come across two major types of people. The first is the student that finds finals week stressful yet manageable. They are often studying and doing a lot of work but, don’t find themselves exerting themselves to the point it is painful. The second student you will come across is the student that is swamped with work. They are up early in the morning as well as up late at night. They are only getting a couple of hours of sleep and depending on caffeine to keep themselves going. These two people can have the same work and classes but, they managed their time and schedule differently.

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Organization and time management are something that I preach on this blog. Without it, in college, you will often become the second person that is rushing to just finish their work. During finals week being organized and having good time management skills is the most vital thing to do. Final exams, presentations, and projects make up for a majority of your grade so it is important to do well on them. The most a final has counted for me was 35%.

One of the hardest finals you can have is a cumulative final. These tests are composed of the entire year’s materials and are the hardest to study for. For this reason, it is important to start studying early and keep good notes. Making study guides, keeping flashcards, and keeping all notes will all be advantageous for you to do well on the final exam.

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So, how long before a final exam should you study for? This question is a very common one and many people think that there is no answer. However, the answer I would give to this is as soon as possible. There is no reason you should be putting off studying for a final exam if you have the time. It may seem annoying and unnecessary but, it is better to slowly learn the information than try and flood your brain days before the test. Pushing off studying for an exam can lead to you turning into a person dependent on coffee.

Attached below is an example of a day of studying for a final exam during finals week

TimeActivity
7am-8amWake Up and Breakfast
8am-11amStudying in the library (break every 30 mins)
11am-12pmLunch
12pm-3:30pmStudying in the library (break every 30 mins)
3:30pm-4:30pmWorkout
4:30pm-6pmDinner/ Watch TV
6pm-9pmStudy in room (break every 30 mins)
9pm-11pmRelax/ Errands/ Sleep
Normal Day of Finals With No Test (9.5 hours of studying, 6.5 hours of Relaxing)

As seen above, my schedule is extremely busy during finals week. The majority of my day is consumed by studying but, I make room for relaxing and taking breaks from my hard work. Below is an example of the second student that waited until the last minute to study.

TimeActivity
9am-9:30amWake Up and Breakfast
9:30am-12pmStudy
12pm-12:30pmLunch
12:30pm-5:30pmStudy
5:30-6pmDinner
6pm-12am (possibly later)Study (random breaks) and sleep
Normal Day of Finals With No Tests (13.5 hours of studying, 1.5 hours of relaxing)

As seen here, waiting for the last minute to study will result in burning out from studying for way longer than you should. You are also met with no relaxation. This is my warning to any student out there entering or in college. Do not wait until the last minute to study. Be proactive instead of reactive.

2 thoughts on “#34 Two Types Of Students During Finals

  1. Sometimes when we fit into one group we make assumptions about those who fit into a different group due to bias, something we need to watch out for in ourselves as scientists and in my case, as an educator. Your description of the two groups of students does not take into consideration (or acknowledge) that students with exceptionalities need to study longer and harder using a greater variety of strategies to learn the same material as others and therefore may look and feel like student number two even though they have been working harder and more consistently than student number one all semester.

    1. I agree completely with you. Many people learn and study in different ways however, being prepared and managing time-based on yourself is constant. This post does not encompass everyone and is purely my experience and observations. The goal of this post was to present the argument that based on your own needs, you should manage your time and not procrastinate so that your finals week is swamped. Thank you for your feedback and we will use it during the recording of our podcast and future posts.

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