Our Top 5 Tips for Final Exam Prep | Nurturing Wisdom Tutoring

Our Top 5 Tips for Final Exam Prep

finals exams test prep studyYou know you need to study for finals, and you know you shouldn’t wait until the last minute. But what does that look like exactly? Read our tried and true approach, and you’ll be on your way to acing your exams!

1. List and Rank the Exams

Make a list of the the exams you’ll need to study for. Then note which will have the biggest impact on your final class grade, and which will require the most preparation. This will help you decide how to divvy up your time.

2. Meet with Teachers

Check in with your teachers. Before you talk with them, make a list of questions that will help you narrow your study focus. Here are some we’ve found useful:

  • Will the final be cumulative or over more recent content?
  • Will the teacher provide a study guide or any other extra support like a review session?
  • What will the format of the test be? Multiple choice? Open response?
  • Do they have specific recommendations for your study plan given your strengths and weaknesses in their class?

3. Gather Materials

Find and organize the materials (physical and digital) you’ll need to study. These may include the following:

  • notes
  • old quizzes and tests (if available)
  • books
  • handouts

As you go through these materials, think about which topics you struggled with and which you feel good about. This will make it easier to prioritize when you start to put together your study schedule.

4. Create a Detailed Schedule

Give yourself at least one or two weeks to study for your tests. Yep, you read that right. When you study a little every day over a longer period of time rather than studying for long hours a day or two before a test, you learn and remember the information better. This is especially important for finals because of the volume of information you’re reviewing.

It’s not enough just to make the time; you need to structure it. Create a study schedule and stick to it. Determine how much time you want to set aside each day for each subject and put those blocks on a calendar (paper or digital). This eliminates wasted time spent figuring out what to do each day.

The best part of all of this is that when you have the time you need to become really familiar with the content, you won’t feel panicked the days leading up to the test. You’ll likely also sleep better the night before, which will also help you perform to the best of your ability!

5. Study Smarter, Not Harder

How do you maximize the time you’ve set aside for studying? Make it targeted and interactive.

  • If your teacher gives you a studyguide, don’t only complete it; actually study it! 
  • Use note cards for vocabulary and terms (e.g. historical dates and people) so that you can quiz yourself, sort them in ways that make new connections, and use them to help you prep for open response questions.
  • Anticipate what your essay prompts will be and locate quotes, examples, and evidence to support your theses. Practice writing full essays by hand and with time limits so that it’s not so scary on test day.
  • Take advantage of all of the great online resources that can provide you with extra practice problems and explanations. We especially like Khan Academy.

Sometimes it’s easier to stick to a plan when you have someone to work with, so share this post with your friend and you can keep each other on track! If you need more support, give us a call and we’ll match you with a great tutor!