ace your finals

How to ace your finals step-by-step

I want you to ace your finals. Depending on your background, you may know how to do this already. If not, I can give you my best tips and tricks to ace your finals based on research, advice from others, and personal experience. My advice is based on your timeline. Depending on how long you have, your path should change.

10 days to ace your finals

10 days to ace your finals

If I’m being honest, I don’t know too many people that start studying 10 days before their final. However, if you have one really hard test or an exam that will make or break your GPA, you should start early and work hard. If you have multiple exams close together, this system tends to be a little much. You may need to mix and match with other timelines based on your free time and their difficulty.

7 days to ace your finals

I personally believe that 7 days is plenty of time to ace your finals. I usually follow a 7-day plan because it works for me. It may take you a few exam cycles to determine what’s best for you and it may vary by subject. You may also need to add extra breaks depending on how boring you find the material to be and how much it fucks with your brain.

5 days to ace your finals

5 day study plan

Unfortunately, this infographic may be the most important and the most boring looking at the same time. 5-day timelines are often easiest to follow, because you may only get 5 days without classes before your exams.

3 days to ace your finals

3 day study plan

This plan is best used for exams that you’re not too worried about. Such exams may include ‘easy’ topics (like US government) or classes where you have a large buffer (i.e. you only need a 60 on the exam). Don’t use this tactic for really hard classes.

1 day to ace your finals

I looked really hard to find a decent 1-day study plan, but one doesn’t exist. If you have one day, pick your favorites from the 3-day and 5-day plans. This really should only be used if the class is a lock (you only need a 40 on the final and it’s an easy subject). Otherwise, try to plan further out.

General tips

These tips are good no matter your timeline. Some seem obvious, but when you’re stressed about finals, it can be hard to see the obvious.

  • Get sleep. This is the most given advice and it still holds true.
  • Eat well. Another cliche, but it will help manage stress and you need brain food!
  • Don’t drink or take drugs. I’m guilty of showing up to a final a little tipsy and I don’t recommend it. Also don’t drink if you’re studying.
  • Drink plenty of water. Water is very important when you’re studying and will help prevent headaches.
  • Know what to expect during finals week. Read my guide. It’s a good one.
  • Study with a buddy. It’s well known that studying in groups can be beneficial.

Additional Resources

I’ve tried to incorporate tons of rich multimedia in this post since you’re likely tired of looking at boring walls of text and charts while trying to ace your finals. If you aren’t yet, then you probably will be soon! Other notable guides are how to coast through college and an MIT student’s guide on acing your finals.

ace your final exams

Make sure to manage your stress during this time. I cannot stress enough that to ace your finals, you need to be mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared. The 8 traits of the happiest college students can help you, but also get enough sleep, food, and water to kick some finals ass!