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Finals: Survival of the most prepared

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Illustration by Lee Judilla

Illustration by Lee Judilla

Illustration by Lee Judilla

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As freshmen walk through the doors on the first day of final exams, they feel their hearts pounding. Hands sweat, minds race, and pencils anxiously tap on their desks. The exams drop with a thud, and the race begins as students hurry to remember everything they learned first semester.

It is normal for freshmen to be worried as they head into their first round of finals, since they do not know what to expect. The worst part? Finals count for 20 percent of your overall grade in the class.

Sydney Takaoka (9) commented that she is most nervous for her grade in the class after finals because that determines her GPA.
“If my GPA is bad, then I won’t go to college,” she added.

Addressing Takaoka’s concerns, Ms. Bellito, a college resource counselor, explained that colleges look for more than just grades. Bellito added that colleges place emphasis on growth, which a student can prove in later semesters.

In order to help prepare freshmen for finals, students and staff have provided tips and study techniques that they find to be important and useful regarding routines while studying, time spent studying, and location while studying.

Routine

Emily Singer (10) has a routine that works for her in order to study efficiently for her finals. To Singer, this routine keeps her on track in studying for her finals.

“Each day I would take a different set of notes from a different class, and I would go over all of them. I would then look over all my quizzes and do the study guides if they were given to me,” Singer commented.

If you find finals to be overwhelming as a whole, this could serve as a potential route for you to use while studying.

Time

When choosing which finals to study for, it is often effective to focus on the ones that could have the largest impact on your grade. If you have a borderline grade in a class, you may want to focus more time on that class’s final.

Ms. Macias said students should, “prioritize finals that could move their grade more than others, or that they feel more stressed out about. Just prioritize studying and time usage to focus on ones that have the most impact on their grade.”

Location

Ryan Pristas (11) explained that the location of where you study matters a lot.

“I study best in my bedroom, living room, or my basement. The reason being is that those rooms are cut off and isolated from distractions that runs through my house,” Pristas commented.

Pristas added that location could have a lot to do with the effectiveness of your studying depending on the ways you enjoy to study, so find a location that you prefer for studying.

As a freshman, it is important to take your routine, time, and location into account when preparing for your final exams. However, it is also crucial not to place test scores above mental well-being.
Prepare using these methods, study hard, and try your best. Overall, finals are not the end of the world, and while your freshman year grades are important, your well-being is more important.

As Ms. Bellito said, “All you can do is your best and prepare your best, so have realistic expectations heading into finals.”

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