Finals Crunch Time

7 Aug

The last weeks of school were approaching and I had planned to begin studying for finals the second to last week of class. I felt accomplished before the final two weeks. I had my study schedule finalized with set agendas for which chapters I would study each day for each class.

But, I didn’t factor in the several projects and tons of homework that were also on my plate. I also had a job as a tutor at the Think Tank. And can you guess when everyone is most interested in tutoring? During finals. So I was overbooked to accommodate all the finals prep. Plus with close friends graduating and planning weekend farewell celebrations and end-of-the-year celebrations for the clubs I was involved with, my carefully laid plans didn’t work out.

The last two weeks of school were very hectic and I didn’t study nearly as much as I intended. The agendas I had set had too many tasks on them to cover for the small amount of time I had available. I was not adequately prepared for three of my finals and the scores on my exams reflected the lack of preparation.

This experience– regardless of its brutal nature–taught me some valuable lessons for future finals and semester performances in general.

First, in order to ensure optimal performance on finals, make sure to begin studying at least three weeks before the finals begin. Although three weeks may seem too excessive to begin preparing, those three weeks tend to be chaotic and each course has tons of materials for you to review in a short amount of time.

Second, if you are working while studying, request reductions of hours in the weeks leading to the finals if the option is possible. This can help you find more hours to study.

Third, agendas are great and can be helpful to guide you in studying. However, setting reasonable goals for which materials you will cover each day is key to making your study plans successful. This is why allowing yourself three weeks to prepare for the final examinations is crucial.

Finally, you might want to reconsider if attending social functions with friends is a reasonable option. Don’t feel like you can’t have any fun, but no your limits and know when to say no. You don’t need to have a different celebration every. single. day. Hanging out with friends can relieve stress, but the time used can be reallocated to finals studying. Strike a good balance between fun time and study time. You will quickly learn that time becomes a scarce resource during the final weeks!

Best of luck to you all on your first finals here at the University of Arizona!
-Jorge Sanchez

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