By Genesis Castillo
With finals around the corner, students are surely preparing ahead of time. The truth is many students wait last minute to even begin studying for their finals, which can result in a scary nightmare.
Mitzy Flores, a business major, recalls staying up all night to study for her Algebra I final.
“It was a nightmare!” she said. “I waited until the last minute to begin studying. It wasn’t really a smart idea!”
Flores remembers drinking lots of coffee to stay up the whole night before taking her Algebra I exam, which was scheduled first thing in the morning.
“By the time I had to take my test, I was so tired and I even had a headache from all the coffee I drank,” she said. “I think I did worse on my final because I wore my body out trying to cram a semester’s worth of information in a single night.
“I was anxious and jittery,” she said, “and I thought I was going to have a panic attack from all the coffee I had the night before. I had to retake the course!”
Flores says that she not only bombed her Algebra I test, but she says she performed worse than expected on a second exam that same day.
“To make things worse, I finally crashed during my second final, which was supposed to be an easy test. I passed the second exam, but I know I could have done better had I not dozed off.”
Having learned from that experience, Flores vows that this year will be a different story and she has already began studying for her exams.
When she retook Algebra I last year, she began studying from the very beginning of the semester.
“I was very upset that I had to take Algebra I again so I made sure to study beforehand and to seek my professor for help. I didn’t want to have to take the course again!” she said.
Salvador De Leon, an engineering major, said he likes to meet up with classmates and go over tests and quizzes throughout the semester. This allows him more time to prepare for exams and seek his professor’s help before finals’ week.
“It’s really important for students to study throughout the semester and not just the night before,” he said.
Nayeli Lopez, a social work major, also recommends going over study guides.
“Most professors are really good about giving out thorough study guides that cover almost everything that will be on the final exam,” Lopez said. “I find those study guides to be very helpful.”
Flores and De Leon have begun studying for their finals already. They have both learned from past experiences and previous semesters that studying early on can really make a difference.
STUDY TIPS FROM PROFESSORS
Study beforehand: While it is important to go over your notes the week of finals, it is more important to study throughout the semester. Most professors agree that tests are cumulative, so every quiz and test is preparing students for the final exam.
Ask your professor for help: Many students admit to being intimidated to ask their professors for help. However, professors are here to help students succeed, but students must be willing to reach out to them and ask help when they need it.
Study Groups: Groups are helpful because students help each other understand the material more thoroughly. When students are able to teach another student, they have mastered the material.
Getting a good night rest: While it is important to study for exams the night before, it is more important for students to be well rested so that they can recall information on the day of the exam. Sleep deprivation has the opposite result and can lead to poor grades on finals.