Finish off Strong: Studying for Finals

By: Marie-Elise Milius

The sun is out, the weather is warm, the trees are blooming and we are nearing the end of the semester.  Do not let the temptations of the nice weather stray you away from finishing the semester off strong.


Here are some tips that I use when studying to help improve memorization and understanding:


Reading vs. Writing (by hand)

It has been scientifically proven that writing your notes over and over will help you remember them, than opposed to reading them over and over. So when reading chapters, I write out the most important information on loose leaf and rewrite them into my notebook.


Quick Tip: After I transfer my notes to my notebook, I read my notes aloud, which helps with memorization.



Youtube virtually has videos for everything and anything you could possibly need. For studying purposes, search the subject and chapter and there is videos that give reviews on the chapter, and clear up any information you may not understand. These reviews are often taught by professors or professionals in the field. Youtube videos are helpful because the speaker may have a clearer explanation for a specific topic or chapter.


Voice Record

Another thing that helps me with finals is recording the class and final review sessions.  Recording them, enables you to have access to explanations as you go through practice problems and questions on your own.


Warning: Make sure to ask your professor if they have a problem with you recording


Online Practice

Quizlet is a savior. The site practically has review questions for any subject; some may even be on your finals. Just search up the subject and you are given study material similar to what you have done.


Life Saver Tip: Google “site:edu [subject] exam” to find numerous college exams in a particular subject. Occasionally, you find the exact questions on your exam.

*Note: the student is suggesting this website from her own experience and is not an advertisement from Macaulay Honors College


Word Associations

Word Associations are useful when dealing with many terms and definitions. It is a quick and personalized method to quickly grasp concepts.


How it works: You should start off with picking a letter or a word within the definition. Next, try to figure out how the letter or word in a word correlates to the word itself and the definition of the word. Once you get how they correlate, there is your word association.


Breaks Keep You Going

Breaks are necessary while studying. I take breaks between studying chapters on the same subject and in between subjects. However, during this break I also refresh on what I just reviewed to keep it fresh in your mind.

Caution: Do not make the mistake of taking too long a study break. Breaks should be 5-15 mins, to keep you in the study mode.


Day of Test Affirmation

I wish you all luck in the rest of the semester and on your finals! You’ve got this!