Even though the dreaded college finals have arrived, you can take comfort in the fact that all your friends are going through or have gone through the same thing. Here are some tried and true tips for studying for finals:
Obviously. Start studying as early as possible. All the work will pile up at the end of the semester and if you start reviewing your work early, you will put yourself in a much better position come crunch time.
Make a study guide
Make a study guide for your final. Maybe go to the library with a couple friends from your class who you know are good in the class. Pool your notes and come up with a comprehensive study guide. Four or five hours spent together coming up with a great guide will save you hours of misery in the long term.
Here’s a little secret: Once you have your study guide, if you have friends taking multiple classes together, trade your guide for theirs. If you trust their work, this can be a great way of cutting down on time spent making guides for multiple classes. Or if you had a friend take the class a semester earlier, ask them for their guide. Also to be more thorough in the same class, trade study guides with other people in the class. Read through these guides constantly wherever you go whenever you have downtime.
Find old exams
Often times, classes will make available old exams from previous years. Study these exams as much as possible. Many times, professors will recycle questions or just slightly tweak them. These also will give you an idea of what type of questions you should be expecting.
Some schools will bar you from studying from old exams and consider reviewing old exams to be academically dishonest. Other schools have professors who tell you how to find said exams. So know your school’s policies before doing this.
Go to study sessions!
This is the best thing you can do! If your class offers an extra study group session for the final exam, go to this. This session, often led by your Graduate Student Instructor/Teaching Assistant (GSI or TA depending on the school), will be a great way to find out what to expect on the test. Your GSI/TA is often the person grading your exam so this will be a great way to find out what the expectations are for your level of work.
When you’re done, use your free time to search for some scholarships!