Preparing for Finals 101

By Seth Morrison

Finals are a big thing in high school. Some would even say that they are the culmination of each school year. The finals usually cause a lot of stress in the home stretch of the school year, but it is quite easy to get ahead of the curve. Since some freshmen may be unfamiliar with this system, they are hit hardest by the finals. While it may seem impossible to do well on finals, the obvious answer is to study. In the end, enough studying will ensure that you are well-prepared for your final exams. Since freshmen have not been subjected to finals week before, it would be best to know how to prepare for it sooner than later.

There are a few key things to remember if you are studying a lot of material at once. No matter how unnecessary it may seem to start studying early, it is very important. With only one week of school left, it’s time to begin if you have not already. Finals may sound easy to some, but with as many as five cumulative exams at the end of the year, just one night may not be enough time to study them all in detail. For those freshmen who are taking Global History, you have probably been assigned flashcards as homework or extra credit to help prepare for your final. Mr. Gilbert advised even with the flashcard assignment that Global History students have been given to study, the essay requires analytical thinking and other skills that the flashcards do not provide. He advised students to not overlook the essay portion of the Global History final and be well-prepared for it. The concept of flashcards and similar studying methods doesn’t have to be limited to just Global History class, although. It would greatly benefit anyone and everyone to apply such a studying method to other subjects because when studying for finals, under preparing isn’t a good thing at all. Not all teachers will help you study in a similar fashion, so it is best to also take matters into your own hands and start studying as early as possible. One go-to source of studying material is your notes. They are concise and likely have everything you need to study in them, especially if you have relied on your class notes throughout the year for studying purposes.

When studying for finals week, there are a few things everyone should remember. For off, do not put off studying until the finals are just around the corner. Instead, start early, going back and rereading what you have studied in the past. And for those who haven’t started yet, make the last two-week count and study a lot, for there is not much time left. When asked about ways to prepare for finals, one tip Mr. Gilbert gave was to study with others, saying “Stress loves company.” If you are very stressed while studying, it may help to study with someone rather than studying alone. It creates a more friendly environment, and you can both work together to study. As for studying tools, your class notes are very compact and filled with everything you have studied all year, so they make a great studying tool. If that’s not enough, though, some classes have a textbook to study from. If you are taking a Regents course, you should definitely do previous Regents exams for practice if you haven’t had them assigned in such classes; even if you have been assigned practice Regents exams in class, you can always do the ones that the teachers don’t assign for even more practice. For language classes, you can make conjugation charts, and for certain classes, you can order review books to study (eg. Barron’s).

However, one thing is needed to accomplish any aspect of this: determination. No matter how bad things get during the home stretch of the school year, it is imperative to persevere and keep going until the day of your final exams; in this case, the end definitely justifies the means. If you keep these tips in mind when studying for finals, it will make the last month of school far less stressful and your final exam week that much easier.