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6 Steps to Hit Finals Out of The Park

student veterans studying for finals

Finals season is upon us. For many that means stress, zero sleep, and microwaved meals. We’ve lined up 6 manageable tips that will help you to manage your stress, sleep 8 hours a night, get to the gym, and eat nutrient-filled meals. Oh, and on top of all of that, you’ll do way better on your finals than those who cram and pull all-nighters. (The secret: finals preparation. When you’re prepared, you’re more likely to be successful. It’s that easy.) Let’s begin…

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Study Guides

Many professors will give some sort of guide as to what is on the final ( without it, you’ll be drowning in anywhere between 5 to 10 chapters of material.) However, let’s say your professor isn’t giving you one. No worries, you can still make one for yourself. Utilize the chapter reviews in the book as well as highlighted/bolded material in the book. Usually those help make the big points stand out. Also make sure to review your notes. If there was a certain topic in class that your professor harped on, it will most likely be on the exam. Study guides will help refresh your memory. Start creating these well before the exam so that you can leisurely make them and study them leading up to the exam instead of cramming.

student veterans studying for finals

(Courtesy: Kic Climate)

Attend Review Sessions

Review sessions leading up to and during finals week seem like such a drag. (As if you don’t have anything else to do, right?!) However, these review sessions are crucial to success during finals, especially if they are run by the Teaching Assistant or the professor themself. Also, other students who attend could explain a topic in a way that finally makes it ‘click’ for you. More brains and ideas are always better than one, so schedule yourself the time to attend these review sessions if possible, walk to them to get your blood moving after sitting and studying for hours on end.

student veterans studying for finals

(Courtesy: Stefan Stefancik)

Organize Your Own Study Group

If there isn’t a review session on the syllabus or scheduled, then make one yourself. You don’t have to necessarily invite the entire class, but invite more than just one other person. (Again, multiple brains and thought processes are better than one.) If you have a TA, reach out to them and see if they would be interested in joining or spreading the word about it.

student veterans studying for finals

(Courtesy: Mari Helin Tuominen)

Practice Tests

Utilizing practice test and flashcards has been proven to be a highly effective study technique. Flash cards are easy enough to make for yourself, but practice tests not so much. Find one other person in your class and ask if they would want to swap making practice tests for each other. That way you get the extra studying while creating the exam, and then when you switch, you’ll have a new-to-you exam that you didn’t create the answers for as well.

student veterans studying for finals

(Courtesy: Brad Neathery)

Hit The Gym

Take a break and get some blood pumping! It’s proven that cardio exercise helps you to concentrate better. Hitting the gym is also a great break where you can listen to your favorite music, podcast, or book and think of anything but your anatomy exam.

student veterans studying for finals

(Courtesy: Vladislav Muslakov)

Sleep & Eat Well

The worst thing you can do is cram during an all-nighter. By all means, DON’T do it. You may have been someone who performs best under pressure in your military line of work, but trust me when I say, that studying doesn’t work that way. Schedule your study hours, and somewhere between 8-9pm shut it off. You need time to decompress and get away from the material before you can get back into it the next day. Eat nutrient-filled meals and get at least 8 hours of sleep.


Do you have any other tips that have proven helpful when preparing for finals as a student veteran? We’d love to know them to share with our audience!


Featured Image Courtesy Trent Erwin.