Combatting Finals Week - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Higher Education
May 7, 2019

Combatting Finals Week

Spring has sprung, the semester is nearing its end, and many of us have already mentally started frolicking in the summer sun.  But for us students, there is one more mountain we must climb before we start buying our plane tickets to Florida.  That is: the Mountain of Finals. 

That’s right, finals week.  It lurks in the darkest corner of spring semester, like the monster in your closet.  It looms over summer break like a storm cloud.  It waits like the pothole that threatens to blow your tire.  Ominously, it approaches.  And we must be ready. 

Here are some tools of the trade, to help you combat this monster. 

  1. “Strike hard. Strike first. No Mercy.”

Though the movie The Karate Kid taught us that this is no way to practice martial arts, it may be a useful motto for tackling finals.  When it comes to your finals, don’t wait till the last minute.  The end of the semester hits hard with final paper, projects, and tests, leaving little time to study for finals.  Start looking ahead at your class syllabi now, and see what you can get started on.  The more you can do now, the less you will have to do later.

  1. Make a Plan

When finals week rears its ugly head, don’t just try to take it as it comes.  Make a study schedule and stick to it.

  1. Take Breaks

When making your study schedule, make sure to schedule a few small breaks for yourself.  If your brain doesn’t have a chance to rest it won’t be able to process all the information you are throwing at it.  So after you finish studying for one thing give yourself twenty-munities to a half an hour before moving on to the next.  Take a nap. Watch an episode of your favorite sitcom.  Have a snack.  Go for a walk. Do some stretches. Give yourself a chance to breathe.

  1. Stay Rested.

The idea of an all-night study session is over-glorified.  And while it may help you immediately, studying for the test you have at 8 a.m. on Thursday morning, it will likely hurt you long-term when you are too exhausted to study for the test you have on Friday.  So make time in your schedule for a good night’s rest.  Sleep will help give you the energy you need to stay motivated, and it will help with memory recall.

  1. Find a Friend.

Studying on your own is necessary for success, but studying with a friend is also important.  Find someone who is in class with you and set up a time to talk over the materials.  They may have notes that you missed, or insights you don’t.  Ask each other questions.  It’s helpful to get out of your own head once in a while.

  1.  Trust.

You’ve been working hard all semester.  You’ve been going to classes and completing assignments.  Trust that you understand the materials and have developed the skills you need to display that understanding to the professor.  This doesn’t mean you know everything and you shouldn’t study.  But it does mean that you know enough to know when to call it quits. 

Finals week can be brutal, but if you prepare, you will be fine.  Many before you have survived finals and lived to tell the tale.  Many after you will do the same.  So work hard, do your best, and be satisfied with that. 

Geneva College is a Christ-centered academic community offering over 115 traditional undergraduate majors and programs to help students serve wholeheartedly and faithfully in their life's work. For more information, contact Admissions - 800.847.8255 or

-Katharyne Reitsma ‘20