April 9, 2024

Surviving finals: study tips for success

2 min read

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Feeling the stress from finals approaching? You aren’t alone. 

Your final exams count for a large portion of your overall grade, so it’s natural to feel anxious and nervous around testing time each semester. Regardless of your academic pathway, you may find that your anxiety surrounding testing can be difficult to manage. Fortunately, you have plenty of options for reducing your stress.  

Here's how you can get started. 

First, it’s important to start planning early. Whether you have one final or five, identify when your final exams are and which areas you need to focus on studying. Pre-planning can help you study on an ongoing basis, rather than cramming at the end of the semester. 

“One of the most important steps any student can take when it's time to prepare for finals is to avoid the urge to procrastinate,” said Kimberly Voight, director of student services. “Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to review the material.” 

Another important technique for success is taking time for yourself.  

Self-care is extremely important and students should focus on getting enough rest, maintaining a healthy diet and managing stress,” said Voight. 

Even though you likely have a lot of studying to do, taking regular breaks for self-care is an essential part of reducing and managing stress during finals time. 

“My favorite study tip is knowing when to take breaks and not pushing yourself too hard," said Brett Bachelor, student success coach at K-State Olathe. “Manage your studies in a way that breaks your study time into comfortable intervals, separated by shorts breaks.  This has helped me in the past to maintain focus and productivity by allowing short breaks to prevent burnout and maintain concentration.” 

While many learners feel hesitant to take breaks while studying on a difficult topic, the reality is that breaks provide you with an opportunity to reset your mind so you can refocus your energies. 

If you aren’t sure what to do on your break, consider exploring nature. 

“Taking a 15-minute walk or relaxing in nature can help refresh your brain and improve your focus,” said Steven Brockschmidt, student success coach. “There are great walking trails right outside of K-State Olathe, as well as beautiful views of the lake from our new student center.” 

In addition to seeking guidance from professors and focusing on self-care, students studying for exams have another important resource: tutoring. 

“Be sure to use the tutoring services that K-State offers,” said Nicole Bedard, student success coach. “Students at the Olathe campus can schedule an appointment to meet virtually with a tutor through this link. I would encourage any student who feels underprepared for an upcoming exam or who may be struggling in their course to meet with a tutor to go over any topics of concern.” 

You also can reach out to your advisors and professors for assistance. The faculty at K-State Olathe want to help you succeed. If you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, reach out to ask for support, guidance or suggestions. Of course, if you need additional accommodations, your professors also can help you navigate your options.

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Our student services team is always ready to help support you throughout your academic journey. If you've been feeling stressed or anxious about your finals, be sure to reach out for additional assistance and support.

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