Finals Fails: What Not To Do

17 Apr

Ah, the joyous season of finals. A season full of gifts and time spent with loved ones. Gifts of Starbucks coffee and snacks to fuel energy through the studying festivities, and time spent in study groups in the library, night after night. Instead of giving you our tips for success, below are some Final Fail stories from your ASA Peer Mentors. Read through them and know some critical mistakes to avoid when preparing for your finals!

  • Briana: This isn’t necessarily a failure, but my second semester of college I got really, really sick during finals week. It was the worst. I fell asleep in the middle of a study group and nearly failed all of my exams because I couldn’t study. So, lesson to be learned: take care of yourself, especially the weeks prior to finals week. Drink that vitamin C and get enough rest, because nothing is worse than being sick during finals.

  • Maddie: One semester I was down to my last couple dollars in my meal plan. By the time finals came around, I was only consuming coffee, oatmeal, and peanut butter. I was also getting about 2 ½ hours of sleep each night so I was practically in zombie mode. Finally I sold 2 of my textbooks from the last semester and saved those measly $15 for a huge omelette the morning before my two most important exams. My body went into complete shock and I felt worse as the day passed. This made it hard to concentrate during my finals. Make sure to manage your money and time wisely so that you take your finals as healthy as possible!
  • Kaelyn: Spring semester of my sophomore year I was cramming hard during finals week to get a C in organic chemistry and physics electricity & magnetism. This was a low point in life for me and the entire semester had basically sucked, so I just wanted it all to be over.  I made a list of all the things I needed to study and my epic fail was that I was too focused on getting through my finals to-do list that I failed to actually learn the material and commit it to memory. So while I read over all my notes and textbook chapters, I wasn’t actively learning.  I ended up getting a D on both finals but still got the C I was aiming for in the classes, yay.
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  • Zuri: My second semester of freshman year, I had a huge biology final that I was freaking out over. I pulled an all-nighter to study for the exam and ended up taking the exam in my pjs. I remember taking the exam and handing it in. After that  moment I blacked out. The next thing I know I am in my bed in my dorm, having no memory of walking back from the exam. Lesson learned, sleep is necessary! (Also, I don’t know if you’re keeping count, but we are! That’s TWO fails caused by trying to pull all-nighers! It’s not worth it, Wildcats.)

  • Julian: I’m from Tucson but lived in the dorms during freshman year. During freshman year, I loved going home whenever I had the opportunity. I rewarded myself by going home to my family. On the last day of classes, I went home right after I finished my last class. The next morning I woke up super early and drove to school to take my first final exam in college. It was dead day. And then I died when I realized I made a 30 minute commute for no reason. Moral of the story: keep track of time and be completely settled and prepared before your exams. Don’t make your life unnecessarily difficult during these times, you’ll need as much rest and relaxation as possible.

  • Erica: Freshman year I was studying for my huge chemistry and biology finals. I went back on every single chapter, and studied all the notes. I did not take any study breaks! When I went into the exam, I realized I studied sufficiently, but I did not study the right stuff. I saw that on both biology and chemistry cumulative exams, the questions were all old exam questions! Instead of trying to cram in studying everything, I would advise you all to take the time to go over old exam questions/study guides, and prioritize the most important content. It will save you time, energy, and stress! Make sure that for every 50 minutes you study, you take 10 minute breaks. During these breaks, do NOT do anything related to school. Studies have shown these breaks are super important while studying, and help retain content.

  • Sarah: My first semester of college, I was taking calculus with one of my best friends, Chris. We had the brilliant idea to try to pull an all-nighter to study for our exam early in the morning. We couldn’t make it through the night, however, and ended up falling asleep for only about an hour and were almost late to our exam! We definitely would have done better if we slept more, and I have made sure to no longer pull all-nighters.
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Good luck on finals, Wildcats! 🙂 –Sarah

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