How to Ace Your Final Exams

Springtime is here. The weather is getting hotter and the trees are turning green again. During the school year, students cram for the most stressful time here at Ursuline, final exams. Students have been preparing for these exams since the start of the second semester or even the start of the school year. Many students, like myself, stress over creating the perfect quizlets or study guides to ace each and every exam. Here are some helpful tips to get through this stressful time.

  • Tutoring or asking teachers questions. Teachers are here to help students and they want you to succeed. Asking for help is okay and the best way to clarify a concept you do not understand. Make sure you ask your teacher what his or her tutoring hours are. Last year, exams were tough, and I studied a week in advance. Now that I have more experience, I realize that I should focus more during class and participate. Participating, for me, has helped me ace my tests because I felt engaged and my entire focus was on answering the teacher’s questions.
  • Review or extra practice. Doing more work is something a student never wants to do, but in this case, it is the best way to fully grasp what you are learning. For example, when you are studying for your math exam, try Khan Academy or go over extra homework problems. Remember, practice makes perfect.
  • Study groups. You have your fellow Ursuline classmates to help you study. Though studying is not the ideal activity to do while hanging out with your friends, being with others can help you retain information. Your friends could all quiz each other or play academic games. Studying does not always need to be serious, so sometimes hanging with your friends helps you to feel more relaxed and less anxious. I like to call my friends on Facetime so we all quiz each other.
  • Flash cards or Quizlet. Making flash cards is a great way to retain information. For example, let us say you have an English exam over vocabulary. One of the best ways to remember all those words is to write the terms and definitions on flash cards and look over them each day until your exam. An app that saves paper and offers both quizzes and games to help you remember information is Quizlet. Personally, I like to use Quizlet for vocabulary or history assessments. The feature that I like best about it is that it can create practice tests. This feature helps users pretend that they are taking the test, preparing them for the real deal.
  • Do not study the night before. Studying the night before is an awful idea and it will not help you retain all the information you need to do well. Studying a couple weeks in advance is ideal and will help your brain steadily absorb all the information. It is important to get a head start. Take breaks while studying so you can avoid burn out and take in short pieces of information at a time.
  • Meditate and relax. Stressing over exams does not benefit you and just makes you lose focus. Create a schedule with organized breaks between study sessions. Although hard work is a key factor in getting good exam grades, you must also realize that your mental health is more important. Getting a good night’s rest and taking occasional breaks is healthy for you.

Image courtesy of Natalie Ro ’20

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