Finalpalooza is upon us; it’s time to prepare

Taurean Small

After a long and busy school year, the time for rest and relaxation is quickly approaching. For many of you, this last week will secure you the superb grades you’ve worked so hard to get throughout the semester. For some, this week will be the wake-up call you kept ignoring these past four months. But no need to fret just yet; there are ways to maximize your chances for final exam success.

Don’t sell your books just yet

By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the many signs and tents posted around campus offering book buyback services. Hold off on pawning your books for cash until you’ve completed your final exam for that class.

Believe me, I am just as eager to finally get my money’s worth for the books I rarely opened this semester, especially considering many of my teachers archive all PowerPoint presentations from their lectures on BlackBoard. But I had to learn the hard way that the “bulleted version” of the instructor’s lecture that’s on the Powerpoint isn’t too helpful when your final exam format is an extended essay.

Double check your final exam schedules

Nothing’s worse than showing up to a final on Monday at 8 a.m. when the test isn’t until Wednesday at noon.

Take it from the guy who’s done it at least once every semester.

Not only is it embarrassing, but it could’ve been easily avoided if I made a written schedule of my exam dates. My advice: Do as I say, not as I do. Check your schedule and make a calendar for exam dates, times and locations. Keep it somewhere easily-visible and check tasks off upon completion

A big breakfast, not the best idea

I’ve been misled into believing a big breakfast before an exam is good for me. Being full during a test only made me tired. The best food regimen for finals is a moderately filling breakfast. You should also bring along a light snack. Substitute pancakes and eggs for oatmeal and fruit. Bring along an apple to snack on in between schedules.

Don’t burn out

Studying diligently is your safest bet to passing an exam, but make sure you take time off every now and then. One good way to avoid burning out is to add a few recreational hours to your day. Exercise or play a sport for a little bit before hitting the books again. Moderation in everything is the best way to stay balanced mentally, physically and emotionally.

Stay optimistic

Never go into a final exam insecure of how well you will do. A self-defeated attitude will only make you frustrated and cost you precious time you could be using to finish the exam. Throw out all negatives in your vocabulary and replace the words “nervous” and “anxious” with “excited.”

Reward yourself

After you’ve finished all your exams, it’s OK to celebrate a job well done. Go out with friends, go to a party or do what I usually do after a week of exams  — go to sleep. Remember, you’ve made it through (another) year of college. That alone is a reward in itself.