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6 Tips to Finish Off the Semester Strong

Student Life

December 14, 2023

The end of the semester is the most difficult time of year. Each teacher wants to give at least one assessment before everyone leaves for winter break, which leaves the students overwhelmed and exhausted. Also, your performance on these assessments relies on how stressed you are. While this time probably feels hectic, here are six tips to finish off the semester strong and do your best on each assignment.

1. Start Assignments Early

Starting assignments early helps you not have to rush anything at the last minute. For example, if you have a presentation in two weeks, you could get the PowerPoint done three days beforehand and rehearse for the final three days before you have to present. Another thing that you could do is start reviewing early. If you have a final test in the subject that's hardest for you, you could start taking time to study every day so that you know that you understand all of the material or if you need to meet with the teacher.

man writing on paper
Photo by Scott Graham from Unsplash.

2. Make a Study Guide For Final Exams

Making a study guide is super helpful because it helps you review, and saves you time the night before the exam. One suggestion is to start by putting the units/topics that were the hardest for you into the study guide first so that you know if you need extra help from someone to understand the concepts. Also, it will be easier for you to study the night before the final because you can look over every topic that you have learned and potentially do practice problems (if you want to include them).

3. Dedicate Times for Homework

Almost everyone has a packed schedule so dedicating time for homework early will make it easier for you to manage time. Maybe you are hanging out with friends on Friday, volunteering on Saturday, and going to dinner with your family on Sunday night. In this case, you could spend the day on Sunday studying for exams and doing your homework assignments on Saturday night.

Additionally, having these dedicated times for homework helps you to balance between school and everything else because you are spending your extra time doing things that you enjoy. Here are two examples of schedules that I used during finals week, one on the weekend and one on a weekday.

Sunday:

10 AM: Wake up.

11 AM: Start studying.

12:30 PM: Lunch and relax.

1:30 PM: Go to Starbucks and study.

5:00 PM: Go out to dinner with friends

7:00 PM: Study again.

10:00 PM: Shower and go to sleep.

Monday (the week before finals):

7:00 AM: Wake up and get ready.

8:00 AM: Go to school.

3:30 PM: Head home from school and relax.

4:30 PM: Start studying for final exams.

6:30 PM: Eat dinner and spend time with my family.

7:30 PM: Start doing homework.

10:00 PM: Shower and go to sleep.

These examples are meant to give you an idea of how I managed my time during finals, but it probably won't work for you, because everyone's schedule is different. Make sure to adjust your schedule around whatever works for you, and how many finals you have.

4. Prioritize By Deadline

Prioritizing by deadline helps with managing your workload because it automatically builds in extra time to work on your other assessments. If you have an English exam on Monday and a science exam on Wednesday, start by studying for English because you have more time to study for science later on.

rose gold iPhone 6s
Photo by Jessica Lewis from Unsplash.

5. Make a Checklist

Making a checklist will help you to remember everything you have to do. You could make a general checklist, that goes over all of your homework and tests, or you could get more specific. Some examples of specific checklists would be every topic that you need to review per subject, every review assignment you have to complete in general, or you could even have checklists for every assignment in each subject. Checklists are also important because they help you not to forget any assignments, including extra credit that you might need.

6. Take Care of Yourself

Taking care of yourself is the most important tip in this article. It is easy to get burned out when you are studying instead of sleeping, working out, or spending time with your friends and family. You can only do your best on an exam if you feel rested and ready to take it, but being ready to take an exam doesn't always mean studying the most. You need to make sure that your mental health is good enough to focus, and not fall asleep before you take the exam.

Keep these tips in mind as you go into the end of the semester. Stay focused and manage your time well so that you can do your best on your final assessments. Good luck and remember to plan early!

Ava Jankowski
1,000+ pageviews

Writer since Aug, 2023 · 15 published articles

Ava Jankowski is a junior at Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh, PA. She enjoys writing, traveling, shopping, mock trial, and playing tennis. She is excited for any learning opportunities possible. Ava will attend The School of the New York Times Summer Academy this July.

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