Finals Week Study Plan: Examples Inside!

For many of you, finals week is quickly approaching or upon you.  Whether you are in high school or college, taking multiple classes means you often have multiple finals that you must prepare for.  These could be final exams, final papers, final projects, final presentations, or some combination of the previous four. So, what is a good way to manage to prepare for all of these finals?

Unfortunately, there is no right answer to this question for everybody (our online tutors are a click away).  Study and time management habits work differently for different people, and your ability to follow through with them will likely depend on your personality.  However, coming up with some type of plan is still essential, and there are methods that have been shown to be very effective that will likely work for you. The following are examples of ways you could set up to ace all of your finals:

Example 1: The Little Bit Each Day

In this preparation example, you utilize the tactics of starting early and building momentum.  If you tend to procrastinate or are stressed with large projects or papers, then this may be the plan for you.

 Little Bit Each Day (LBED) means you make a list of all of the things you need to complete or study for.  Let’s say you have one final English research paper, one final social studies presentation, and a final exam in both math and science.  With LBED, you decide what it is you need to do for each of these finals: write a paper, make a presentation, and study for tests. Those are your final goals.  The next step is to come up with ONE thing that you can contribute to them each day.

For example, you could decide that for the final paper you will write two sentences each day, for the final presentation you will add one line to your slides each day, for the math exam you will review one old quiz each day, and for the science exam, you will create three flashcards and study them each day.

 The point behind these practices is to make the work more approachable and manageable, while still making progress and building momentum.  When you procrastinate, you often don’t accomplish anything toward preparation in a given day.  You put it off and say you will make real progress another time.  But, with LBED, you do always accomplish at least something each time.  It is much easier to say, “I’m going to write two sentences” than it is to say “I’m going to work on my research paper” and follow through.

In a few weeks (and even in a few days), you will have made great progress in each class.  Also, you will find that sometimes you do more than the minimum. When you write two sentences, you might feel inspired to add a few more.  When you make three flashcards, you may feel like there are a few more in the group so you make those as well. But, even if you only stick to the minimum each day, you will have made so much more progress when the deadlines approach.  Even if you still have last-minute cramming, it will be so much easier and involve so much less stress using LBED.

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Michael C. is currently an online private math, science, and standardized test tutor with TutorNerd in Irvine and Anaheim.