As many Prep and Villa students have probably heard by now, there is a new finals policy being implemented this year. For those that haven’t heard or may have forgotten here is a summary of the new finals policy:
- All classes will be required to have some sort of final whether it be a unit test, cumulative test, research paper, final essay, or anything else. This decision is up to the teacher.
- All students are expected to be in class and in uniform for every day of the finals.
This may come as a bit of a surprise for students who have been used to being exempt from finals either for taking an AP exam or for earning an A average for the entire year. As senior here at Prep, I can confidently say that I have taken my fair share of final exams/assignments during my four years. With this new policy being announced, I realize that many underclassmen may feel overwhelmed or anxious about this upcoming tidal wave of tests and assignments. I would like to offer a few words of advice for the underclassmen at Prep and Villa, so they can be as successful as possible in taking all of their finals.
1. Start studying early
If your final test/assignment is cumulative, it may be tempting to push off studying until the very last second (10 p.m. the night before). You don’t even know where to start studying, so you’ll just do it some other time right? Wrong. You have to resist the temptation to procrastinate until the very end. If you start studying the night before you are going to end up staying way too late, which will result in lower quality studying and a terrible night of sleep. Trust me, this is not going to help come the day of the exam. Instead of pulling an all-nighter and chugging a pot of coffee the morning of the exam, try to break up your studying into smaller chunks a week or two in advance, so that way you’ll be very prepared multiple days before the exam and all you’ll have to do is one more quick review the night before and can get to bed early.
2. Make studying interesting
Studying for a year-long cumulative exam can be a daunting task and many students may get bored quickly after beginning to study. It’s important to make studying interesting for you. There are many ways to do this, like studying with a friend, making notecards, or watching funny/instructional videos that keep your attention. Senior Evan Selker had this to say about his favorite study method for finals. “Quizlet is a very efficient and useful way to study that I use for many of my finals. Typically, I will use my teacher’s study guide to help me create the best possible Quizlet for the exam.”
Different styles of studying work for different people, so find out what works for you and make sure you’re always focused and attentive while studying. This will help you retain the highest amount of information possible for the test.
3. Ask your teacher questions
If you’re confused about material or anything that you may see on a final or a research paper, ask your teacher. Asking a fellow student or a friend can be helpful, but hearing it directly from a teacher is always a better move. They will know exactly what to tell you and can point you in the right direction for studying.
4. Be optimistic
As I’ve said earlier, finals can be a daunting and even depressing task at times. You may feel like you’re never going to be prepared to take this test no matter how much you study. From past experience, I can tell you that most of my finals were never as bad as I imagined they would be. That doesn’t mean finals are easy and you shouldn’t study, but if you study hard and put in the time, don’t worry about doing poorly, because in all likelihood you’ll be ready to crush it. If you go into the day of the test feeling energized and optimistic you’re already better off than if you were to walk in feeling stressed and nervous.
With all this being said, it’s also important to keep one thing in mind while you’re preparing for your finals; this is the last thing separating you from three glorious months of summer vacation. I know it’s been a very long year and you’re probably worn out from all the work you’ve had to do, but finals is the last hurdle you have to clear. Everyone wants to finish strong and ace that final test/assignment, so I’d recommend you try to implement a few of the techniques listed above into your preparation this year.