Now you might wonder why one of my first posts is about finals. The answer is because no matter what happens during the semester they are the most important thing that will happen academically. I have had classes where my final was 40% of my grade with a midterm and about 4 quizzes making up the rest of the 60%. This means that starting the first week of class you need to make a plan about how to succeed.
The syllabus days are perfect for this. Take a look at the handy schedule that the professors provide you and plug the big dates into your calendar app. Set appropriate notifications for the level of the assignment. If it is a homework I give myself a day, a quiz at least 3, and a test a week. If the final date and time isn’t listed on your syllabus odds are your university has a finals schedule. This will most likely be based off the time slot and whether it is a MWF or TR class. Plug that sucker in with a minimum of a week and a half warning.
Now that you know when everything is going to happen academically during the semester you can plan out which weeks you can be super social, which weeks will be academic hell and which fall somewhere between the two. I am not telling you to be a stickler to a rigid daily schedule but they will help you survive the hell weeks (The week before finals week should be one of them).
Preparing for your finals are a whole semester in the making. Even if the professor says that the final is not cumulative (as in direct questions on material from the whole semester) it will be cumulative in knowledge. Your mathematics based finals will have equations that you will be unable to compute if you don’t know the properties you learned in week two of the classes. You will have knowledge based classes where themes and ideas you learn early on will be the basis of the answer that you have to write. If you have a good handle on your material going through the semester and ask questions in a way that sets you up for comprehension and not memorization then you should be fine.
I feel that if you have to do more than review notes the day before a final and have to “cram” then you have failed to properly prepare in the week before finals. The added stress of cramming does not help you on the test especially if you end up freaking yourself out over one question that you “should have read a little more on instead of eating lunch” (I have heard that sentence before).
If you take the time and mind the 7 P’s then finals week will be a piece of cake.