12 Tips on Studying for Finals

12 Tips on Studying for Finals

With the quick approach of the end of the school year comes the even quicker approach of finals. So, to help you guys out, I decided to write an article with some of the best study tips that I’ve found online and that I have come up with myself. Feel free to Tweet me some of your own study tips and necessities using #newsthatsparkles or Tweet to me @Sparklenews_ You can also share photos using #newsthatsparkles on Instagram. Also, don’t forget to follow my social media so that you don’t miss anything and be sure to check back for more articles on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Without further adieu, let’s get on with the article!

1. Sleep

Yes, I am completely aware that almost every site you visit has this as a tip for passing finals, but I felt that it was too important to leave out. I, for one, know that when I’m tired it’s very hard to focus on something and my mind continuously starts to drift off to random things like what I’ll do once I get out of school. So, it is a good idea to get lots of rest both the night before and the nights leading up to finals. If you find that you are having trouble sleeping before tests due to nerves, try using a sound machine with the noise set on rain or ocean waves. Sound machines can be bought at Walmart for fairly cheap and I’ve found that the soothing noise of water really helps you sleep. You could also take a bath before going to bed to help you relax. When I take baths before sleeping, I like to use Bath and Body Works’ Lavender Vanilla ‘Sleep’ luxury bath and then spray the body mist of the same scent on to my pillow.

2. Make Your Own Study Guides

Depending on your teachers, you may or may not receive study guides for your classes. Whether you do or not, it is a great idea to try and make your own. Making your own study guide not only makes you look back at your old notes and tests that you have gotten back from the class that you are making it for, but it also allows you to put that information into a format that is best for you. Also, your study guide doesn’t have to be boring; you can make it by hand using colored pens and craft supplies or you could use online software to make your study guide pretty and pleasing to the eye. When I make my study guides for my classes, I use Adobe InDesign and I like to use pictures from the internet, fun fonts, and lots of color. Another reason why this is so effective is because you will be able to remember the subject material better if you actually put it together in a meaningful way. Plus, after its done you have a study guide to look over before the test and throughout the time that you have to study for it.

3. Utilize Online Resources

One big advantage that all of us, growing up in the 21st century, have is that we have so many online resources available to us. It would be crazy not to take advantage of this fact. Some of the most popular study tools online include Kahoot and Quizlet. If you’re not familiar with them, Kahoot is a website on which you make quizzes that you and your friends can compete with. If you don’t want to make the Kahoot, you can also search the topic that you are looking to study and browse through all the Kahoots that other people have made about it. Quizlet, on the other hand, is an app and website where you make study sets of flashcards and it provides several different ways to study using your sets. Just like with Kahoot, you can look up Quizlets that other people have already made and study using those. Quizlet also offers a feature called ‘Quizlet Live’ which is basically Quizlet’s version of Kahoot. You can also simply look up study tools and plenty of other free online resources will come up. My favorite thing about most of these sites is that it changes up studying so that you don’t have to keep looking through your notes for hours. Plus it’s easy to pull up a Quizlet set before the test and quickly review your flashcards.

4. Study with Friends

Studying alone is long and daunting. So, to solve this issue, invite some friends to your house or go out to the public library or a café and study together there. Your friends and you can help each other and present new study methods or ideas to each other that you may not have thought of yourself. You could use flashcards, play study games, or make tests/quizzes for each other to study. Friends make studying much more fun. Plus, you’re more likely to remember something funny regarding the content that your friend said than a sentence your teacher said weeks ago.

5. Wear Comfy Clothes on Test Day

No, this isn’t necessarily a study tip, but it can help you stay more focused while taking your finals. On test day, chose a comfy outfit to wear even if it may not be quite as cute as that new blouse you got. My favorite thing to wear on test days are t-shirt dresses because they are comfy, loose, and soft. You could also wear a cute pair of soft shorts and a t-shirt. Both of these options are cute in addition to being comfy. Also, you can find both in your closet and, if not, you can buy them cheap at Target or Walmart. For more ideas you can click here for an article I did on spring fashion: outfits 1, 4 and 6 work well. Whatever you end up wearing, comfy clothing can help you stay more focused on your test because you won’t be constantly paying attention to adjusting your clothes.

6. Use YouTube

You may be asking yourself right now “How could I possibly study using YouTube?”. Well, I’ll tell you. For instance, if you need to re-learn a topic or your teacher’s method just doesn’t work for you, you could look up videos made by other teachers. Most topics have at least a few videos about them online. This method is best for science and social studies because there are so many videos made on them. If you need to study for a world history or other social studies course, you could check out John Green’s channel for fast and interesting videos on the topics. As for science, there are several channels that you can look up including ASAP science. Although ASAP doesn’t directly talk about science concepts, but you can gain the understanding of them through watching their fun videos on topics that you will actually enjoy learning about. My favorite types of videos to look up are parodies on popular music videos made based on school concepts. These are especially easy to find for science topics. Although it isn’t as easy to find entertaining videos for them, there are plenty of videos on math and ELA concepts as well posted by teachers and tutors. Overall, YouTube I a great tool to use when refreshing your memory on topics learned early on in the year.

7. Take breaks while studying

This is a very important tip. If you continue to study right from the time you get home to late into the night, your brain will not get a chance to rest for a moment. While you are studying, it is important to put down the textbooks and go do something you enjoy for a half hour or so and then start studying again. This can also be a great way to de-stress the night before the test. I like to take a break from studying and bake something. Maybe baking’s not your thing: take a bath or read a chapter of your favorite book or check social media. No matter what you do: do something to put your mind at ease.

8. Eliminate Distractions

We all get distracted no matter how hard we try not to. To eliminate the risk of being distracted, eliminate distractions in your study space. That means turn your phone off (all the way off) and put it in a drawer or somewhere far away and turn off the TV. This way you are able to focus on studying and won’t lose time by stopping and checking social media for ‘just a minute’ and then realizing that it has been thirty minutes. Also, it is a good idea to find a quiet place to study. You can study in your room and close the door or you can go to the local library or coffee shop. Of course, it doesn’t need to be completely silent: music helps a lot of people study too, but just make sure it doesn’t get you off track from the task at hand.

9. Eat a Good Breakfast

You’ve heard it a million times before and you will most certainly hear it again: “It’s the most important meal of the day”. On the day of your final exams, make sure that you eat a nutritious breakfast so that you aren’t hungry or tired while testing. Some good breakfast ideas include oatmeal with berries or fruit or yogurt and granola paired with a cup of orange juice. A study done by Public Health Nutrition even found that eating oatmeal and drinking orange juice in the morning can help students perform better throughout the day. If you’re interested in reading about the positive impacts of oatmeal and orange juice, you can check out this article by Live Science.

10. Review Right Before the Test

No, this is not to say that you should only study right before the test, but paired with the studying you have done days ahead this can really help you keep the content fresh in your mind. It is a good idea to get to your classes early on test day so that you have time to look over your study guides or take out your flashcards and do a quick review. Although it is also helpful to ease your mind if you test how well you have the information memorized, it is also helpful to use your time to memorize as much of your study guides as possible. This way, the information is fresh in your mind. Also, if you have friends in your class, you can quickly quiz each other.


Whether you use any of the study tips named above or not, it is crucial that you follow this one: DO NOT CRAM. Cramming is bad in several ways: it causes a lot of unnecessary stress, you probably won’t remember anything you studied the next morning, and it causes you to lose sleep. To allow yourself to calm down a bit and to avoid cramming, it is important to start your studying process two to four days before your test. You can begin to study even earlier than that, but just keep in mind that studying three weeks in advance probably won’t help a whole lot because you will likely forget by the day of the test. If you start within a week though, just know that studying doesn’t need to be boring. Make a study schedule where you can go out with friends one day and then play review games online the next. If you give yourself enough time to study, you won’t need to lose sleep over it.

12. Stay Motivated!

No matter what, stay motivated. and most of all remember:

Don’t stress, its not the end of the world. Just do your best 🙂

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