The Best Practices for Finals


As another finals week looms upon us, we prepare to go in fighting to the most stressful week of the semester. Many people end up holed-up in Hale struggling to cram for finals. Finals consist of different kinds of tests, making it hard to study and navigate these different finals.

A format commonly used for finals is an essay question. Essay finals take preparation, good timing and a clear mind. Preparing for an essay exam can be difficult because the correct answers are not linear. An advantage to this, though, is that there is more room for explaining the level of knowledge an individual understands.

According to The Study Guides and Strategies website, it is best to map out the time needed for each essay. Mapping out the time can help with organization during the test and make for a less stressful final. It is also important to go into the test with a clear mind, which can help the process go smoother and allows for fewer mistakes.

Oral exams are common exams among students are taking a foreign language. Christopher Renner, modern languages instructor, said he prefers to give interviews as exams to see what the student has learned.

“Oral exams can provide better insight into what content and knowledge has been retained by the learner, and how (he or she) has integrated that knowledge and content into the overall understanding of the subject,” Renner said.

Oral exams are direct ways of seeing what the student has learned. Renner said the best way to study for an oral exam is to record yourself speaking and play it back to hear how you will sound in the actual exam.

“Often I see students who are too focused on getting the answer out, that they fail to hear what is asked of them,” Renner said.

An oral exam can be stressful and the pressure of saying the right thing can get to a student. Like an essay, there is more room to explain the knowledge as compared to a definitive right or wrong answer, such as with multiple choice exams.

Multiple-choice exams are often given when the classes are larger because it is easier to administer to large groups of people. According to The Study Guides and Strategies website, it is best to practice testing yourself. Another good strategy to study for a test is to organize notes in what is most important and work down from there. Outlining key concepts and mapping out important information can help with memorization and make for a less stressful testing experience.


The scheduled time of a final can range from 7:30 a.m.-6:20 p.m. Some students are cursed with a late final on Friday, while others must brave an early final on Monday, and many students have different preferences as to when the best final slot is.

Many people rejoice at getting up and getting the final out of the way, while other prefer to study all day and have the information fresh in their mind for the final.

“I’m a morning person, so a morning final works best for me; I like to keep the stress down before the final by sleeping,” Kristina Ladner, senior in marketing and industrial engineering, said.

Julie Gibbs, director of health promotions at Lafene Health Center, said students feel more productive at different times in the day, although students commonly feel most productive in the mornings. Gibbs also advised experimenting with ways of studying that fit best with each student. Every person learns differently.

“Experiment and try to find your best study mode and stick with it,” Gibbs said.

important thing to remember when studying is that every student is different
and has their very own learning style. Its important to find what works best,
and then use it as an advantage.