Tips On Managing Finals

Tips On Managing Finals

Sarah Jacobson, Opinion Editor

The end of the year is often a stressful time of the year for high school students, as the time for final exams is right around the corner.  While finals can produce significant amounts of anxiety, some useful tips and strategies can help to alleviate some of that stress.  Below are some tips from students and teachers at Central about how to manage studying for finals.


One common tool that is highly recommended is online practice questions from sites like YouTube or Khan Academy.  Senior Sarah Kim says that she finds it to be helpful, “Usually when I start, I try to remember everything I know about a specific subject before I look and then I can see where I went wrong and what I need to remember for whatever subject it is, and then I review that and try to find some practice questions online for that subject and then work through those,” she says.  Though this strategy isn’t new, she also mentions how important it is to start studying sooner than later and avoid procrastinating.  Senior Janani Pattabi also suggests tackling assignments in order of importance and from the most to least time sensitive.  “I write down everything I need to do on a specific day and then give a rough estimate of how much time I need to spend on homework.  If it’s a big project I’ll spend a couple hours on it, and if it’s just a homework assignment I’ll spend 30 minutes on it.” Time management is crucial both in high school and in college, and breaking down assignments and studying into smaller steps is a great strategy to follow.


Studies show that writing things out physically with a paper and pencil has been proven to improve memorization and is a great strategy for studying. Senior Maria Betz says, “I like to rewrite things because I find that writing things down helps them stick in my brain more.  Teacher Choi, an English teacher at Central, also expresses the importance of this strategy and how they found the muscle memory of writing to be helpful.  “Writing things by hand for sure helped me when I was in college because it allowed me to remember the process of writing notes down, and I could also write down any questions I had or any clarification about the text I was reading,” they say.  They also suggest using flashcards for specific vocabulary terms, and limiting the distractions around you when studying.  


As the time for final exams gets closer, it is quite common for test anxiety to come up.  Ms Smith, another English teacher at Central, suggests focusing on the things you can control and not the things you can’t.  “Don’t try and stress yourself knowing everything- just focus on the biggest parts to remember,” she says.  She also says how important it is to get good sleep during final exam week, “When you’re tired it’s so much easier to stress out/spiral over the amount of work you feel you need to do.”  Teacher Choi also suggests using your teachers as a resource, and taking the time to get extra help before finals.  “For final exams, talking to your teachers is helpful and takes any extra time to go over anything that might pop up on the final.”


While final exams in high school are often a stressful time, using some of these tips and strategies can help to alleviate that stress.  Take a deep breath, believe in yourself, and know that you have people to support you along the way.