7 Proven Tips for Studying for Finals

7 Great Tips for Studying for Finals

Studying for final exams can be a stressful period, especially if you're struggling to find the time or the willpower to put in the necessary work.

However, managing stress while also achieving top notch grades is very doable if you can figure out a study technique and routine that work for you.

Here are some tips for studying for finals that can help you to study both effectively and efficiently.

1. Create Your Own Study Guide

While many teachers provide a study guide, creating your own can help you understand the material better.

Outlining the important information you need to learn can be helpful, both in creation and to refer to during your studies.

2. Ask Questions

Your professors and TA’s are there to help! Ask them questions regarding the material and the exam so that you’re prepared when exam time arrives

3. Quiz Yourself

When studying for finals if you think about and create actual exam questions, you will likely become more familiar with what you need to study.

You'll also familiarize yourself with the type of language that will be on the exam. Draft potential exam questions and quiz yourself so that you can set expectations of what you need to focus on.

4. Study in Short Bursts

Many studies have shown that short bursts of study, broken up by “down time” for your brain, is more effective than studying nonstop for hours.

Take advantage of this knowledge by planning your study time in 20 minute segments. Take breaks in between for snacks, meals, movement, and mental down time (such as listening to music).

5. Partner Up

There’s nothing like peer pressure to keep you motivated to study. Make a plan with friends to review the class material, compare notes, or work through tricky concepts.

Not only is it more fun to study with your friends than being holed up by yourself, you’ll also learn more. By talking through the facts and formulas with a study partner, you’re thinking about the material more deeply, which means you’ll remember it better

Benefit from the good study habits and notes of the other members in your study group. If you’re trying to solve tough math problems, two heads are better than one

5. Don't Procrastinate

Waiting to study until the night before an exam is disastrous. Procrastinating causes unnecessary stress and sets one up for failure.

Instead, plan ahead. Look at your exam schedule and begin studying for your first, or hardest, final now.

6. Get Enough Sleep

Pulling an all-nighter is risky business. While most college students think that studying all night will help them learn more for an exam, all-nighters can actually damage grades.

Exhausted students can't concentrate on exams, and cramming for a final can actually reduce the amount of information you remember.

Well-rested students, on the other hand, are much more relaxed and alert when it comes time to take exams. Make time to sleep- you'll thank yourself later.

7. Plan Refreshers

This goes hand in hand with not procrastinating. If you have a good grasp on the material you need to learn, all you need are refreshers to keep that information supplanted in your mind for your exam.

Plan the bulk of your study time a few days before your test. Then, plan short refresher sessions each day until finals. The day of finals, use notes or flashcards to refresh your memory during your free time just before the exam.


As you can see, studying for finals doesn't have to be nerve wracking if you plan well and use these tips. What are some of your favorite tips for studying for finals? Let us know in the comments!


Vanessa Pruitt, PLMHP, MS