How to Stay on Top of Exams

Exam weeks are unlike any other time in a college semester. The stress can be felt in the air, caffeine sales go through the roof, and finding a seat in the library becomes a rendition of the Hunger Games. Amidst all the mayhem, it becomes ever so crucial to stay on top of your exams and make a full proof study plan to ensure you kill each final and go home happy on your winter break.


When it comes to organizing anything, having a planner will save your life. I use my planner for balancing both my school and extracurricular events, and especially during exams it is good to write down all of the things you need to do to study. Be detailed! Give yourself a time frame and plan when you are going to review notes, do problems, or take practice exams. Being organized with studying is crucial especially if you’re busy, because many times things come up randomly during the week that you must plan around. Another good thing to do is to really take advantage of your Thanksgiving break. Resting and relaxing are important so I'm not saying to kill yourself with work then, but break is the perfect time to do this organizing of your time so when you get back to school you’re ready to get down to business.

Another thing to note is taking advantage of all the extra help and additional review services that can be found around your campus. Here at UF, we have two major tutoring services called Study Edge and Smokin’ Notes which provide packets with detailed notes, live and online review sessions, study hours with tutors, flashcards, and tons of practice exams/problems. A majority of students at UF would say these companies are what got them through the plights of studying and made the difference doing well in their classes. Beyond this however, really pay attention to your professor’s office hours too. This is a great time to get help on homework or difficult concepts while showing your teachers that you really do care about your success in the class (which is always a good thing.)

Staying focused is huge during exam crunch time as well. When I say these weeks are hectic, I mean it and not only because of school. Being the start of the holiday season, so many festivities occur and it’s very easy to get distracted if you don’t go into it with the right mindset. When there is an event going on that I’d rather be at than stuck in the library, I always think of this phrase: in a few months, will I be more mad I missed a party or that I did badly on my exam? Put things in perspective and realize what’s truly important in the long run. Stay organized, stay focused, and you’ll be more than ready to kill this exam season.