Tips and tricks on how to face finals week


LATE NIGHT—Senior sports science major Kaity Benson studies for final exams in Jamrich, taking advantage of the 24-hour open study lounge. Denali Drake/NW

Denali Drake

As final exams approach, NMU students are preparing for sleepless nights, coffee-fueled study sessions and long walks to the library. 

There is no one way to make sure the exam results in a perfect score, however, some helpful tips and tricks might ease the process and result in a higher grade. English Associate Professor Wendy Farkas teaches EN103, Approaches to Academic Literacy and Study, teaching students important skills on how to be best prepared for college courses. 

Organization of notes, readings and homework is key, in fact, Farkas emphasized it is the crucial step that can influence success in a course. 

“Organize all of your notes for each class with dates on them in a three-ring binder, so you can chronologically look at what you have learned in the course,” Farkas said. “Even if you wait until the last minute to study that makes it a lot easier to understand.”

It is important to understand the difficulty of each course, and how that will impact the amount of time that should be devoted to studying, Farkas said. Understanding each discipline of study and what the perspective exams look like can aid in the revision process. 

“You are not going to study for a Spanish test the same way you would study for a political science exam,” Farkas said. “In a language class, you’ll have a lot of memorization, for a literature class, it’s best to stay up on your reading, students are going to study for each class differently.” 

Procrastination happens and in the event that a student has waited until the last minute it is not the end of the world. 

“The best course of action would be to have a conversation with the professor, and have the professor point out specific resources to study, not all but most will,” Farkas said. “They’ve already created the exam they know what students will be tested over so they can point them in the right direction.”

Professors have student’s best intentions in mind, and often approaching and taking advantage of finals office hours can be of great help. Take advantage of group study and tutoring on campus. It is free for all students, utilize it as a study tool, Farkas said. 

Study breaks are an important part of finals preparation as well, doing something physical like walking to go get food with friends or simply taking a lap around Jamrich can help, Farkas said. 

Maintaining a positive attitude is crucial for perseverance and self-motivation. 

“The best way to diminish test anxiety is to be prepared,” Farkas said. “If you’ve done the work you can do it, the more prepared students are and the more that students stay up with their studying throughout the semester, final exams will not become that huge burden.”