Final exam time: Last minute study tips to ace your exams

Don't let your final exam schedule get the best of you.

Don’t let your final exam schedule get the best of you.

If your final exam schedule is bearing down on you like a freight train with the breaks out, then you need some serious studying tips. Success with finals is about more than studying, though. It’s also about physical and psychological preparation. You have to eat right to keep up your strength and feed your brain. Make sure that you move your body to keep it toned and alert. Get plenty of sleep and psych yourself up for victory. Here are a few ideas to help you conquer your final exams.

Final exam studying tips

It’s natural to get stressed about finals but when you get stressed you can’t perform well. Everything shuts down and you can hardly remember your name let alone the answers to questions.

In a December 12, 2013 post for, “10 Study Hacks That Will Help You Ace Your Final Exams,” Peter Jacobs offered a few useful and unconventional tips.

Jacobs gathered the tips from students, college administrators and Reddit users:

  • Reward yourself with non-alcoholic treats while studying
  • To help you focus on the material, flip your books upside down and read them
  • Watch funny videos to help you laugh and release stress
  • Skip the energy drinks in favor of water to keep hydrated

One contributor, 3zr4, suggested the use of mental associations to help you remember important facts.

According to 3zr4, “It is really useful for vocab memorization. For example you learned ‘rojo’ is Spanish for red. Draw a connection between them. They both start with R. They are both short words. Imagine something red labeled rojo in your mind.”

Prepare your brain for final exams

To ace your finals you not only need to know the information, you need to be psychologically prepared.

In a May 1, 2013 article for, “Top Three Tips for Better Final Exam Week Performance,” Thomas G. Plante, Ph.D., ABPP explained how you can ensure success on finals.

Plante’s three tips include:

  • Take care of your body: eat right, get enough sleep, and don’t overuse caffeine or other stimulants or prescription drugs. Get plenty of exercise.
  • Keep things in perspective: Remember that grades are not the most important thing in your life. Once you’re out of school, they rarely matter at all.
  • Relax right before the exam: Take a walk, meditate or pray to help you relax before going into class to take your exam.

According to Plante, “Thoughtful planning, attending to their bodies, keeping things in perspective, and finding relaxation strategies all can make exam week no big deal.”

Help is where you look for it

Getting help with your finals can be as easy as talking to your instructors. Perry Nagin discussed what she learned about preparing for finals in her May 6, 2013 post, “Final Exam Tips: 5 Things to Avoid When Taking the Tests,” for “[…]GO TO OFFICE HOURS! I cannot emphasize enough how important this is for teacher-student rapport, helpful insight as to what material to focus on, and feeling confident in the material,” Nagin said.

Study groups are another good resource to tap because they will push you to know the answers to questions posed by your fellow students.

Final exam tutoring

Sometimes you need to get expert help. You’re in luck. CengageBrain is offering a 30 Minutes of Tutoring for $14.99 promotion. You can connect with a tutor 24 hours a day for as little as 35 cents per minute. Tutors are carefully screened and their academic records are reviewed. Most of the tutors have master’s degrees.

Here’s how it works:

1. You buy 30 minutes of tutoring on any subject for $14.99. An hour will cost only $24.99.

2. Choose the time when you want to connect with your tutor and what you need help with.

3. Connect with your tutor, upload documents and use the whiteboard.

Is online tutoring right for you? A few reasons why you may benefit from online tutoring include:

  • It’s convenient. You can fit it into your busy schedule.
  • It’s affordable. Yeah money is tight but think of how much time you’ll save.
  • Expert help. You’ll get valuable feedback on your work.

If you’re too shy to ask your instructors or fellow students for help, then a tutor could be a lifesaver. You’ll get expert assistance from someone who knows the subject but who isn’t judging you. Your relationship with your tutor is anonymous so they don’t even know who you are.

The sooner you start studying for finals, the better. What are some of your tips for studying? Tell us in the comments below.

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