The Best Way to Study For Finals


Jenna Skanberg, Staff Writer

The Best Way to Prepare for Finals

When students are studying for final exams, they often become flustered. This is understandable, as they are expected to recall an entire semester’s worth of concepts for a single test. However, by being prepared for finals, it is possible to reduce this nervousness. If you do not know how to study for finals effectively, here are some useful ideas:


It has been proven through experimentation that many 15-30 minute study sessions are better that one multiple hour session (Learning Center). This is because, at a certain point, your brain will stop retaining information. There is no point studying material for hours at a time if you will not be able to recall the information when it comes to taking your finals. The best option is to study in short increments for a few days leading up to an exam. For finals, this might mean studying each subject for about 15 minutes each day, taking short breaks between reviewing each subject.

It is also helpful to review material multiple times and to allow some time to pass in between review periods. This is because, after initially learning information, people tend to forget what they just learned. Repeated study sessions are a great way to “re-teach” yourself information that you might have forgotten (American Psychological Association). One easy way to repeat your study sessions is by making and reviewing flashcards. If you make a point to review the same information on multiple occasions, the information will be much harder to forget.

Studying With Others

Studying in a group can be really helpful when preparing for finals. Studies have shown that saying ideas out loud allows people to better understand difficult topics (Learning Center). This happens because, when you tell someone information, you put it into your own words, which are easier to comprehend. In addition, discussing study material with friends can help you recognize where you are confused and receive helpful feedback. For anyone that is struggling to make sense of a particular subject, study groups are a great way to get support that is sure to boost your grade.

Strategies For Success

A common misconception among students is that simply rereading material is sufficient enough studying. This strategy is not effective because, if you are not actively engaging in the material, you will have a harder time understanding and remembering it (Learning Center). Active learning involves writing things down, drawing diagrams, quizzing yourself, and making connections between the material and real life. Using strategies such as these will help your brain grasp difficult ideas, which will make them easier to remember.

Perhaps most importantly, students should be sure to take advantage of the study guides that their teachers hand out. While you cannot always rely solely on the study guide, when you are given one, it is so important that you complete it. Study guides contain everything that the teacher views as necessary to pass the final, so it would be foolish for any student to cast this useful tool away. Furthermore, some teachers will offer study guides for extra credit points. If this is the case, completing your study guide is especially important because it could boost your class percentage just enough to get the grade you want at the end of the semester.

Sources Used:

Studying 101: Study Smarter Not Harder