Surviving Finals: Advice From A Teacher


It is that time of year again. That time that happens usually twice a year. FINALS! Oh the craziness of finals. Rather you are a college student or a high school student Finals are scary. As a teacher, I have a little different workload than a student. I understand for students Finals can be daunting and at times feel pointless. I often find myself giving my students the same speech each year, and each year they ignore it. Not because I do not have wise words to say but because they are just so stressed. Also they have already began unhealthy study habits. Here is what I tell them

*Side note while researching for this blog, I came across a lot of what I tell my kids to be accurate. 🙂 *

Advice #1: Do not wait till the last minute. 
Review a little bit every night. We all know finals are coming. There is no excuse to wait till the very last week to begin studying. If we review every night for a month for just 10 minutes our review for the week before will be so much easier.

Advice #2: Get enough sleep.
I read more and more news articles about students not getting enough sleep. They are staying up to all hours of the night and only getting a couple of hours of sleep. According to, teenagers and adolescents need 9 1/4th hours of sleep. In the United States students are getting roughly 7 hours of sleep on average. While, I know my Korean students sometimes do not sleep in a 48 hour period. They then sleep after that for just 4-5 hours. This is a terrible habit to have during finals. Your brain needs sleep.

Advice #3: Eat healthy. 
When I get stressed out it is easy for me to eat terrible foods. Foods that are quick, easy and lacking in nutritious value. Unhealthy food slows you down. Your brain needs healthy foods to function properly. If you do not get the right food sources it is easy to make mistakes.

Advice #4: Have positive self-talk.
Don’t talk yourself down right before a test. Keep the negative thoughts away. Say a prayer or keep your mental dialogue positive. It isn’t, “this teacher is so hard, I am going to fail.” It should be “This teacher is hard but I studied hard and I know this stuff.” The right mindset can make a huge difference!

Advice #5: Prioritize and manage your time. 
This is the biggest advice I try and give my students. They have to manage their time. Spending hours on one small part of a chapter is not managing their time efficiently. Choosing to play 4 hours of a computer game instead of studying is, of course, not correctly prioritizing. I feel that at times my students are so worried about ALL of the MILLIONS of little details they often forget to see the bigger picture. They get weighed down and almost get paralyzed. They then give up. In order to study (especially a subject like History) you have to see the bigger picture to know what is important. Once you can do that then all of the little details fall into place. So organize your time wisely, maybe even make a to do list and organize it by days.

I hope that this helps you survive your finals week. At least you can try them out and see what happens. 🙂

Thank you for reading!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s