Clemons is over crowded, you haven’t seen your roommates in days, and your caffeine intake is through the roof, which can only mean one thing: it’s time for finals. Here are some tips and tricks to minimizing stress and building confidence as you begin preparing for finals.

1. Make a plan:  It is no surprise that you have final exams. Make a written plan or commit verbally to a study partner what your plan will be to get ready for exams. You know what study habits work best for you but no one does well cramming at the last minute. Look at the dates for your exams and prepare a time line leading up to those dates which includes what you need to do. If you need help, like tutoring or accommodations, ask for it!

2. Keep things as normal as possible: As part of your planning, include the normal activities you have that help with stress. Exercise, healthy eating, enough sleep and having fun are all important. You may not be able to spend as much time as usual while preparing for exams, but don’t eliminate them.

3. Find your light at the end of the tunnel: Decide on a reward for yourself once you complete your exam. Maybe it’s a celebratory dinner at your favorite restaurant, going to see a movie, or even something as simple as your favorite candy. Having this kind of incentive can help you persevere.

4. Stay positive: We all have dialogues that run in our mind that can be positive or negative. Telling yourself that this exam is going to be impossible or that you are going to fail is not helpful for stress management. Pay attention to your thoughts and stop the negative ones. Replace them with positive, realistic statements. If getting an A on the exam is not realistic, say instead that you will pass the exam. Even if you are confident about passing, listening to friends who are constantly negative can increase your stress. Don’t be afraid to take some space away from your friends if you need it!

5. Take a breath before you start: Look over the entire exam before starting and think about how much time you will need. Answer the questions you feel most confident about first. Stay until the end of the time period in case you remember information that is important. Review your answers before you leave. High anxiety can cause us to forget things so remember… Breathe and relax!


For even more tips, check out Kimia Niksheresht’s suggestions over at Iris.